The Straits Times
Published on Aug 22, 2014

Thailand's junta upbeat on economy, but not out of woods yet


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's junta wants to sell a positive story about its coup saving a troubled economy from recession, and while it seems to have business on board there is little evidence yet of a sustainable, broad-based recovery.

A plethora of Thai companies shared the military government's optimism in recent earnings reports, looking to improved conditions after the May 22 coup ended six months of protests that paralysed the government and bureaucracy.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy avoided recession by growing 0.9 per cent in April-June from the previous quarter, when it shrank a revised 1.9 per cent, data showed this week. But the tentative recovery is some way from matching the government spin.

The state planning agency slightly trimmed its full-year forecast but expects a V-shaped rebound by December on rising consumer and business confidence and political stability. It has predicted 4 per cent growth in the second half after a 0.1 per cent contraction in the first.