By Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol
BANGKOK--Thailand's economic growth momentum slowed in October as several indicators showed weaker performance, the nation's central bank said Wednesday.
The Bank of Thailand's monthly report showed the country's private consumption index in October rose 2.1% from a year ago, decelerating from a revised 3.9% gain in September. Sequentially, Thailand's PCI fell 1.5% in October.
In a statement, the bank said it attributed the weakness in the PCI to lower tourism growth and relatively low farm income, which has affected consumer confidence of farm household.
The Thai private investment index dropped 1.5% year over year in October, compared with a revised 0.3% slide in the previous month. On a monthly basis, PII inched up 0.1% in October.
"Contractions in imported capital goods, commercial car sales and construction sector reflected a weak recovery sign of overall private investment," the central bank said.
The country's trade surplus shrank to $2.87 billion in October from $3.72 billion in September after exports swung to a contraction, according to data released this week.
Thailand's overseas shipments declined 4.3% year over year, which the central bank blamed in part on "an uneven recovery of demand across markets." Imports grew 7.4% from a year ago because of "larger imported raw materials and intermediate goods."
The tourism sector, which has been a major growth driver of Thailand for years, also took a hit in October, according to official data. The number of tourist arrivals plunged 10.1% sequentially to 2.25 million, partly as a result of the Thai government's clampdown on illegitimate tour operators fromChina and a higher visa-on-arrival fee, said the central bank. However, tourist arrivals were up 0.5% from a year ago.
Despite the dimmer economic readings, Tisco Financial Group has maintained its optimism that the slowdowns in consumption and exports will be temporary. The firm expects the pace to pick up in the near term on the back of government support to bolster spending, including a year-end tax-break program.
Write to Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 30, 2016 04:01 ET (09:01 GMT)
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