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Thailand: General Outlook For 2012-2016 (source: EIU)

  • The victory of the Puea Thai party, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, over the Democrat Party in the general election held on July 3rd will not end the power struggle that has destabilised Thailand for the past five years.
  • It is only a matter of time before enmity develops between the new government and the royalist establishment, particularly if Yingluck seeks to pardon her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted as prime minister in 2006.
  • The fiscal deficit will narrow relative to GDP from 2012 onwards, after widening to the equivalent of 2.8% of GDP in 2011. The Bank of Thailand (the central bank) is coming to the end of its current cycle of policy tightening.
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit estimates that real GDP will grow by 3.8% in 2011, following an expansion of 7.8% in 2010. Growth will average 4.8% a year in the forecast period, driven largely by private consumption and investment.
  • Higher global commodity prices have contributed to an acceleration in the rate of inflation this year, with consumer prices rising by an estimated 4.1%, but inflation will average only 3.1% a year in the forecast period.
  • Thailand's current account will remain in surplus throughout the forecast period, averaging 2.3% of GDP in 2012-16, buoyed by a healthy surplus on the merchandise trade account.

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