Prospects for Growth in 2009
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Prospects for Growth in 2009

Last week, Bloomberg noted:

Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy contracted 2.8 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier, according to the median forecast of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg

BP: You can see all the figures from the economists (it is the YoY chart – what on earth were those thinking there would be positive growth.

Unfortunately, things were worse than expected as Dow Jones notes:

Gross domestic product contracted 4.3% from a year earlier, resulting in full year GDP growth of 2.6%, the National Economic & Social Development Board said Monday. Seasonally adjusted GDP shrank 6.1% from the previous quarter [BP: The median from the economists in the Bloomberg story was -4.7% and the low was –5.8%].

"The fourth quarter contraction is substantially beyond market expectation and this will likely prompt economists to revise down their forecast on Thailand’s growth this year," said Nuchjarin Panarode, an economist at Capital Nomura Securities.
/>The board also cut its GDP forecast for this year to between zero growth and a contraction of 1.0% from previously projected growth between 3.0% and 4.0%.

"The downward revision was due to a deeper-than-expected global economic slowdown, which severely and rapidly hurt Thailand’s exports and tourism more than previously projected," Ampon Kittiampon, head of the National Economic and Social Development Board, said in a news conference.

BP: Surely, any growth this year will be good news? Abhisit has been trying to talk up the economy stating there will be positive growth in the third quarter. This seems unrealistic given the 4th quarter figures.