Thailand’s exports will drop by up to 3.1 per cent this year, economists forecast on Monday, after June figures fell on the same period last year amid a strengthening baht.
After the Commerce Ministry reported a 2.1 per cent fall in June, the SCB Economic Intelligence Centre projected the country’s exports will drop this year by between 1.6 per cent and 3.1 per cent.
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The research centre said exports in the second half would be hit further if the baht remained strong and the US-China trade war deepened.
“Although the US-China trade meeting between after the G20 summit [in Japan last month] was a positive sign, we have to wait for the outcome because both countries are still negotiating for a deal. This ongoing process is still impacting the global economy and Thailand’s export value,” the EIC said.
The ongoing uncertainty comes after Thailand’s exports dropped 4.4 per cent in the first half of the year, leading to the EIC forecast of a 1.6-3.1 per cent drop this year.
The EIC maintained its forecast of Thailand’s economy growth at 3.1 per cent in this year, driven by domestic consumption and government infrastructure and stimulus spending.
Meanwhile, Kasikorn Research Centre forecast Thai exports to recover in the second half, to remain at the same level as last year, amid positive outcomes in the trade war.
However, if the baht remains strong, Thailand would be further impacted by export competition in the global market, the centre said.