Thai economy expands at fastest pace in four years in Q1

From a year earlier, the Thai economy expanded 3.3 per cent in the March quarter.
From a year earlier, the Thai economy expanded 3.3 per cent in the March quarter.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's economy expanded at its fastest pace in four years in January-March from the previous three months, underpinned by stronger exports, household spending and tourism.

The economy grew 1.3 per cent in the March quarter from the prior period, on a seasonally adjusted basis, while economists in a Reuters poll had expected 1.2 per cent.

The government revised October-December quarterly growth to 0.5 per cent from 0.4 per cent.

From a year earlier, the economy expanded 3.3 per cent in the March quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said on Monday (May 15), compared with 3.2 per cent in the poll.

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In the final quarter of 2016, annual growth was 3 per cent.

Growth in South-east Asia's second-largest economy has lagged other regional peers for years. The military government has ramped up spending in a bid to boost domestic activity but large infrastructure projects have been slow taking off.