The Cabinet, during its meeting on 16 May 2023, acknowledged the report “Thai Economic Performance in the First Quarter of 2023 and Outlook for 2023,” submitted by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council.
According to the report, the Thai economy in the first quarter of this year expanded by 2.7 percent, accelerating from 1.4 percent in the previous quarter. It was mainly driven by the robust growth of export of services and private consumption, along with the continual expansion of both private and public investment.
Private consumption expenditures increased favorably by 5.4 percent, continuing from a 5.6-percent expansion in the previous quarter, in line with a robust growth in the expenditure in services, owing to the tourism rebound and recovery in the spending on durable goods.
Total investment expanded by 3.1 percent, slowing from 3.9 percent in the previous quarter. Regarding foreign trade, export value was recorded at 69.8 billion US dollars, amounting to a 4.6-percent contraction, compared with a 7.5-percent decrease in the previous quarter, in line with the economic slowdown of key trading partners. Import value was recorded at 66.8 billion US dollars, which grew by 1.3 percent compared with a 0.3-percent reduction in the preceding quarter.
On the production side, accommodation and food service activities, as well as the agricultural sector, grew at an accelerated pace, while the manufacturing sector contracted. The agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors increased by 7.2 percent. Accommodation and food service activities continued to increase with a high growth of 34.3 percent, improving from 30.6 percent in the previous quarter because of the high growth of inbound tourists and domestic tourists. The number of international tourist arrivals stood at 6.478 million tourists.
The manufacturing sector contracted by 3.1 percent, continuing from a 5.0-percent contraction in the previous quarter. This was due to a decline in production of both export-oriented industries and domestic-oriented industries.
On economic stability, the unemployment rate declined to 1.05 percent, compared with 1.15 percent in the preceding quarter and 1.53 percent in the same quarter of 2022. The headline and core inflations were 3.9 percent and 2.2 percent, declining from 5.8 percent and 3.2 percent in the previous quarter, respectively.
The Thai economy in 2023 is projected to expand in the range of 2.7-3.7 percent.