Thai economy may grow faster than 3.4% this year, says finance ministry

A man refuels a motorcycle with gasoline outside a store in Koh Phangan, Surat Thani, Thailand.
A man refuels a motorcycle with gasoline outside a store in Koh Phangan, Surat Thani, Thailand.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's economy could grow faster this year than the finance ministry's forecast of 3.4 per cent, helped by extra government spending and improved exports, a senior ministry official said on Wednesday (Jan 25).

"The situation has changed and that will make GDP grow more than expected," Krisada Chinavicharana, head of the fiscal policy office, told reporters.

Better exports, oil prices and global economic prospects will also help, he said.

The ministry will give updated growth and export projections on Jan 30, he said.

Earlier this month, the government approved an additional 190 billion baht (S$7.65 billion) in spending for the current fiscal year, which started in October.

On Tuesday, Bank of Thailand's governor told Reuters the central bank was keeping its 2017 growth estimate at 3.2 per cent.