Major Economic Issues For Thailand

Local Hua Hin and regional Thailand news articles and discussion.
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Thailand’s March exports spike nearly 20% year on year

https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/economy ... dly-spiked

Last month, Thailand’s exports surged at an unexpectedly high rate, jumping by 19.5% when compared to the same time last year. A Reuters poll conducted in March had predicted the country’s exports would only rise by 2.4%. According to the Thai customs department data, 2 major products contributing to the export jump were gold, and electronics.

Gold exports in March were 11 times higher than last year, while shipments of hard disk drives rose 68% year-on-year. Passenger car exports increased 14%. The commerce ministry is planning to hold a briefing on the March trade data early next week.

Another product in Thailand, mango, also saw a surge in exports earlier this year. In the first 2 months of 2022, Thailand’s mango exports increased by $US11 million, up 15% compared to the same time last year. Last year, Thailand exported $93 million, or 3.1 billion baht worth of fresh mangoes to its Free Trade Agreement partner countries, according to the director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations.

The director-general said this brought Thailand a 53% increase year on year. She said Thai mangos are popular because of their good quality, sweet taste and beautiful appearance. Also, Thai fresh mangos are available all year round in multiple varieties.

Thailand’s 28 FTA partner countries include China and Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Chile and Peru.

Last month, the value of Thailand’s exports was US$28.86 billion, while imports were also at an all-time high of US$27.40 billion in March.

SOURCE: The Star | Nation Thailand
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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No surprise that Russia is not mentioned. Thailand is circumventing sanctions and exporting via Belarus and China.
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Inflation surpasses forecast for May, rising 7.10% y-o-y, highest in 13 years
Thailand’s headline consumer price index (CPI) surged more than expected in May, rising by 7.10 per cent from a year earlier, due to higher energy prices, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday.

The monthly CPI increase exceeded the market forecast of 5.8 per cent and was the highest since July 2008. In April, the inflation rate gained by 4.65 per cent year-on-year.

“The spike in the inflation rate was caused by rising energy prices, as well as the expiration of some government subsidies for living costs,” said Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

Those subsidies include a cut in electricity bills and cooking gas prices, according to Ronnarong. Meanwhile, food prices in May also contributed to the jump in inflation, he added.

https://www.thaienquirer.com/40655/infl ... -13-years/
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Subsidies often seem like a panacea for governments in economically problematic situations as a temporary band-aid, so as to appease the masses and take away the "heat"... but it seldom works, unless you get your act together properly and cancel it at some point, and revert back to market prices.
There are many countries that have tried this that have failed so miserably.
Unless naturally-resource rich and there's a genuine willingness to share, then subsidies are generally a bad idea for the medium to longer term, as ultimately they get everyone entitled to a certain level of unrealistic living and the longer you do it, the worse the end game becomes... many socialist attempts at utopia have confirmed this. Problem is, most of the world has enjoyed recently an unparalleled time of economic cornucopia, peace, and tech advancement plus free money at 0% interest rates... a whole generation has grown up not even knowing/understanding what interest rates even are. Only a fool would think this would last forever. You can't pump trillions into the Western economies without problems down the line... yes, they saved it with QE in the short-term, but that is what QE is, a short-term economic stimulus measure, not one for like 15 years. You reap what you sow and now the conditions have come about that will instigate huge problems... mixed with China never going through their 2008 recession because they tried to build their way out of it, plus using useless vaccines and can't open their economy properly, and they know it.
In Thailand, the diesel subsidy fund has now reached today 85 billion in the red. Yes, it can stop the pitchfork wavers from the transport industry and rural lot from gathering at government buildings but it doesn't fix the problem... it's a short-term political answer, not an economic one.
I would guess that it (fuel fund), and some other giveaways, are being funded from the foreign reserves but no-one is being told and it'll be, at best, replaced or not talked about and depleted.
I do wonder how much the current military government has dipped into the reserves to fund stuff but has not said anything.
This might also be a point regarding why the BoT is against raising interest rates... it would be a huge own goal and people would freak out. It probably isn't much different to why the Western governments dragged their heels over raising interest rates until their was no economical/political choice... try to inflate away as much debt as possible before you have no choice and it's all about perception.
Just some idle thoughts.
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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I hear the sound of a toilet flushing and see the economy swirling into a whirlpool on the way to becoming a cesspool and, as usual, the have littles and have nots will be going down the drain with it.

Worldwide depressions usually bring about worldwide wars as nations attempt to fight their way out of a declining spiral.

To me, things don't look good. I'd like to be wrong, but.................
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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The Government’s Inflation Woes
The leader of the Thai Pakdee Party, Warong Dechgitvigrom, recently posted a photo of himself at a gas station in Australia. “Gas prices in Australia are not cheap,” he said. “In Thailand, the government is still helping reduce the price.”

Netizens swamped his post, pointing out that even if gas prices are higher in Australia, an Australian worker makes more in an hour than a Thai worker does in a day on minimum wage. Warong later edited his post to respond, saying that people are not supposed to compare wages or income with gas prices.

This episode encapsulates the difficulties facing the Prayut administration. A rising cost of living, driven by global conditions such as increased gas prices, is plaguing governments all over the world. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has proven to be the catalyst of an economic headache for which Thailand’s prime minister cannot be blamed.

Voters, however, are unlikely to be sympathetic; global comparisons do not help.

https://www.thaienquirer.com/40894/the- ... tion-woes/
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Price limits on 51 goods, services retained

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/23 ... s-retained

The government on Thursday agreed to retain its price control on 51 goods and services while introducing stringent measures on the movement of maize in three additional provinces to stabilise domestic prices.

The meeting of the Central Committee on the Prices of Goods and Services chaired by Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit maintained the price control list for 51 items, 46 of which are products while the other five are services. The list is expected to be proposed for cabinet approval.

The price control list covers essential items for daily use such as food, consumer products, farm-related products (fertilisers, pesticides, animal feed, tractors and rice harvesters), construction materials, paper, petroleum and medicines.

Listed foods include garlic, rice paddy, milled rice, corn, eggs, cassava, wheat flour, powdered/fresh milk, sugar, vegetable/animal oil and pork. The services listed are the right to distribute copyrighted music for commercial purposes, trading services and/or shipping services for online businesses, agricultural services, medical services and other services of a health care facility, and payment services at the point of service.

According to Mr Jurin, the committee also tightened its grip on the movement and import of maize products to curb adverse impacts on domestic maize prices.

Traders are required to seek prior permission from responsible authorities before making any such movement. Such requirements have been applied in seven additional districts in three provinces, on top of the existing 45 districts in 12 provinces.

The seven districts added comprise Klong Toey port in Bangkok's Klong Toey district; Kantang district and Muang district in Trang province; and the districts of Muang, Sangkhla Buri, Sai Yok, Thong Pha Phum and Dan Makhamtia in Kanchanaburi province.

Mr Jurin said the ministry also pledges to carefully consider requests by producers to raise their product prices while insisting the ministry has yet to permit instant noodle producers to increase their prices for fear that the price hike, once allowed, would affect low-income people who largely rely on instant noodles.

Amid growing pressure from rising oil prices, which greatly affect manufacturers' production costs, the Commerce Ministry has vowed to maintain consumer goods prices as long as possible to ensure a minimal impact on consumers.

Products with price caps include instant noodles, fresh and raw cooking materials such as meat and eggs, canned food, packaged rice, seasoning sauces, vegetable oils, soft drinks, dairy products, electric appliances, detergents, fertilisers, insecticides, pet food, steel, cement, paper, pills and medical supplies.
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Central banks in Asia spend billions to slow currency declines

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/23 ... y-declines

After years of building their foreign-exchange reserves, central banks in Asia are tapping into their stockpiles to bolster their weakening currencies against a rising US dollar.

Thai reserves slid to $221.4 billion as of June 17, in data released late last week. That was the lowest in more than two years. Monthly figures show that Indonesia’s stash is at the smallest since November 2020. Reserves in South Korea and India are at their lowest in more than a year. Malaysia’s stockpile, meanwhile, has fallen the most since 2015.

“Some countries would have used their reserves to stabilize their currencies when moves were excessive,” said Rajeev De Mello, a global macro portfolio manager at GAMA Asset Management in Geneva. “They know that they can’t reverse their currencies’ weakness against the USD, but they can smooth the declines.”

Learning from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, central banks have been accumulating dollars to help defend their currencies during periods of wild market swings.

This year, as the hawkish Federal Reserve boosts the US dollar, central banks have reversed the buying: Thailand and Indonesia are among those which have pledged to reduce volatility in their currencies. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said it is letting the market determine the peso’s value against the dollar, and is only intervening to curb volatility.

High-yielding emerging-Asia currencies may see little reprieve soon. They may continue to reel on their deteriorating external finances and the risk-off sentiment spurred by the Fed’s tightening moves, according to strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The US central bank has signalled another big hike in July, with traders pricing a 75 basis-point increase.

Already, regional currencies are hovering at multi-year lows: the Philippine peso on Monday slumped to its weakest since 2005, while the India rupee declined to a record low last week.

“Central banks in Asia tend to ‘lean against the wind’, using FX interventions to smooth exchange-rate adjustments,” said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economics research at HSBC Holdings Plc. “A trend reversal requires far more: a broader pull-back in the US dollar that may only begin to set in once investors can make out more clearly the end of the Fed tightening cycle.”
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Thai Inflation at Fresh 14-Year High Boosts Rate Hike Odds
Thailand’s retail inflation accelerated in June to a new 14-year high, boosting the case for central bank to raise borrowing costs sooner than later.

Consumer prices rose 7.66% from a year earlier, accelerating from 7.1% a month ago, official data showed Tuesday. That’s faster than the median 7.45% gain predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey and the highest since July 2008.

The surge in prices comes despite government extending subsidies to check prices of retail fuel, and businesses largely withholding from passing on costs to consumers, according to Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director general of Trade Policy and Strategy Office. That implies an impending rise in living costs when the pass-through happens or should subsidies be withdrawn.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... f=323RPL5z

Hmmm, hike the interest rates so the 90% of the population that are in debt have to pay more back, that'll help!
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Well, here's what has crossed my mind sometimes, it's not just people that are in huge debt (and were encourage to borrow so that we could spend our way out of the post 2008 economic malaise) but government borrowing has created huge debt mountains too everywhere. Really, government and central banks have painted themselves into a corner through trying to be all things to all people for short-term political ends... and are now damned if they do and damned if they don't.

I guess this is why central banks in the West have been dragging their heels on interest rate rises too. It's not just the average Joe that will suffer, but governments servicing their debt mountains too. Also, doing QE for 15 years was a very questionable idea as it is really a short-term financial stimulus measure, not one for so long, and most economists agree that we still don't really know what the final results of all this will be... a huge economic experiment some say, but maybe we are starting to see now.

It wouldn't surprise me if the whole plan by most governments was to borrow their way through the last few years, then drag their heels on interest rate rises if inflation appeared, so that they can inflate away as much debt as possible before being forced to act through political pressure. Even if the BOT raises rates, bet it will only be like 25 base points, which isn't much considering how high inflation is.

The other caveat is that a whole generation has grown up not knowing anything other than free money at 0% with no comprehension of how damaging inflation can be or how interest rates can rise and fall plus what it means. Anyone who thought this was anything other than a finite period, which is now over, is sadly deluded... doesn't work like that and once the ducks all line up in a row and the genie is out of the bottle, it is very hard to set it right.

The coming correction could end up being very damaging and sobering for many, everywhere. How it will pan-out is anyone's guess, but governments all around the world are going to have to take some very tough calls on stuff and many many people won't like it. You reap what you sow, I'm afraid.

Edit - Typos
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Re: Thai household debt deeper than ever

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Thailand's Q2 2022 GDP grew by a mere 2.5%, well below market expectations of 3.1%.
Making it the worst performing Asean economy in Q2 2022.

Full Story here: https://www.thaienquirer.com/42790/thai ... -recovery/
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Recession fears deepen
State agencies, businesses and households are being urged to brace for a global economic slowdown which could easily deteriorate into a recession next year.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said on Monday that the world economy is starting to show signs of a slowdown, adding that it warranted careful monitoring in order to see whether it becomes a recession.

"Now three key economic agencies, the NESDC, Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand have been very closely monitoring the world's economic situation," he said. "The global economic recession issue is quite worrisome, as the Thai economy is on the recovery path. If a global economic recession happens as feared, we're afraid the Thai economy will be hit hard."

To cope with the spectre of a global recession, Mr Danucha said everyone in Thailand needed to accelerate efforts to prepare themselves, including the government, businesses, and members of the public.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/24 ... ars-deepen

A very typical Thai govt reaction - blame everyone else (foreigners) for your problems. No, the Thai economy is not "on the recovery path".
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Why the Thai economy is bogged down
South-East Asia’s second largest and once one of its most dynamic economies is struggling under the weight of an ageing population, a deteriorating education system and low yield rice farming.

Thailand looks trapped as a middle-income country, unable to get rich, and stuck between a younger, dynamic Vietnam and larger Indonesia.

Getting out of its economic rut won’t be easy, but investment in education and higher quality human capital and agricultural and governance reform are the priorities.

Thailand has the lowest fertility rate in South-East Asia, bar Singapore. Its demographics are arguably more worrisome than those of South Korea, which has a fertility rate close to 0.8.

Between 2000 and 2021, South Korea’s population aged 20–24 declined by 15 per cent. In Thailand, that number fell by 20 per cent, moderately better than the 27 per cent decline in Japan.

But Japan and South Korea generate over four times the per-capita GDP of Thailand, and they have more resources to support ageing citizens and attract skilled immigrants to reinforce greying work forces.

As in many other countries, COVID-19 exacerbated Thailand’s ageing population problems. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of Thai infants declined by 8 per cent.

Middle and working-class households, stressed by growing debt, inflation and poor employment prospects, are hardly eager to have more children. During the pandemic, Thai household debt also soared to 90 per cent of GDP.

https://www.afr.com/world/asia/why-the- ... 026-p5bsxn
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Changing Thailand - a series about the state of the Thai economy

Post by caller »

I'm sure I am not the only one that no matter how much I hate it, checks the Bangkok Post daily.

It seems to me that this year, their independent economist, Chartchai Parasuk PhD, has been left to his own devices with spreading the bad news about the Thai economy, whilst the controlling family, owners of the Central Group, are not seen to be rocking the boat.

But the fact is, that he makes a lot of sense. He certainly seems to be genuinely independent, and his articles this year have all been quite alarming, contradiciting the good news and rosy picture as potrayed by Government. He recently started a series of articles, explaining why and what Thailand needs to do, to avoid a looming economic collapse.

It starts with a prologue, giving an outline of the issues and comarisons with Thailands neighbours and then part 1, issued today, is about why the Country needs to change.

I know there is already a long running thread about the Thai economy, but as these 6 articles will appear every 2-3 weeks, I thought it would be good to create a dedicated thread for any discussion and to look back on in the future, simply to see if he was right.

The prologue can be found here:

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opi ... -prologue-

Part 1.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opi ... -to-change

All of his articles:

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/columnist/3764
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Re: Major Economic Issues For Thailand

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Thai banks top Asean bad debt rankings
Thailand's top three banks have combined non-performing loans (NPLs) of more than US$9.6 billion, the highest in Southeast Asia, but Thai banks overall still have a high level of reserves for bad debts, says the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (Fetco).

Fetco recently released its Capital Market Snapshot report entitled "Aspects in Stability of the Banking Industry in Asean", revealing information about debt, deposit and loan risks in the commercial banking sector in Thailand and other Asean countries.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/26 ... t-rankings

Is it any surprise when they allow people earning 20,000 baht a month to drive around in 2 million baht SUVs.
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