Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol

BANGKOK-Thailand's economic recovery remained on a steady course in December when most major indicators showed further expansion, according to the latest report from the Bank of Thailand.

The Thai central bank said Tuesday that the country's private consumption index rose 2.7% from a year ago and went up 1.4% from the previous month in December.

"Overall private consumption picked up, supported by greater consumer confidence on future income outlook, following a recovery in merchandise exports and tourism as well as the shopping and domestic travel tax deductions at the end of the year," said the BOT in a statement. "However, spending on durable goods contracted on the back of a high base level in Decemberlast year."

Thailand's private-investment index inched down 0.1% from last year but increased 1.2% sequentially in December when the rise in investment "only concentrated in alternative energy, service and transportation, export-related industries and construction by the public sector," the central bank said.

Nevertheless, the country continued enjoying another month of trade surplus of $2.05 billion, attributable to a 5.6% rise in exports and a 10.5% surge in imports in December.

Accordingly, Thailand's current-account surplus grew to $3.72 billion.

Another boost to Thailand's economic recovery came from a rebound in the tourism sector, said the bank.

Tourist arrivals in December totaled 3.05 million--a 1.1% on-year rise and a 9.0% on-month surge, according to the official data.

"After the government's regulation on illegal tour operators, the previously declining number of Chinese tourists picked up thanks to measures on concession and exemption of visa fee starting from December 2016," the bank said.

Write to nopparat.chaichalearmmongkol@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 31, 2017 03:11 ET (08:11 GMT)

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