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    • The week ending April 30th, 2021 the Thai Baht was being exchanged at 30.71 baht to every 1 US dollar.

    • Rating agency's confidence in Thailand pleases PM

    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has welcomed confirmation by the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) that the Thai economy's outlook is stable despite the economic impact of Covid-19.

    The JCR announced on Monday that Thailand had been rated as having a stable outlook and said that reflected the country’s strong economic base focused on exports, the stability of its banking system and its solid international trade balance.

    The Thai economy contracted 6.1% in 2020 due to a slowdown in its exports and a large decline in the number of foreign tourists caused by the pandemic, the agency acknowledged.

    However, it said the economy had begun recovering after bottoming out in the second quarter of 2020 partly thanks to the effect of the government's large-scale financial and fiscal package worth 1.9 trillion baht, equivalent to 12% of GDP.

    While the resurgence of the pandemic needed to be closely watched, the economy was expected to return to growth of about 3% in 2021, said the JCR.

    The public debt-to-GDP ratio increased significantly due to the implementation of the massive fiscal package but the JCR was confident the ratio would be kept at manageable levels in the future. This was due to the government's commitment to the law that requires the ratio to be kept lower than 60%.

    The agency also applauded Thailand for remaining loyal to fiscal discipline, with both the fiscal balance and government debt kept at sound levels in GDP terms.

    Although the trade surplus expanded last year mainly due to a faster fall in imports than exports, the current account surplus in GDP terms declined from 7.0% to 3.3% in 2019 due to a bigger service account deficit mainly resulting from a reduced number of foreign tourists.

    The country's foreign currency reserves (excluding gold) stayed high at USD 245.3 billion (7.69 trillion baht) at the end of February 2021 due to an accumulation of current account surpluses.

    The reserves were 4 times the country's short-term external debt and this indicated that Thailand remained resilient to external shocks, said the JCR.

    With sufficient funds in hand, Gen Prayut has affirmed the government’s readiness to proceed with implementing more Covid-19 relief measures for all affected parties as well as economic stimulus packages, said a government spokesman.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...and-pleases-pm
    • Thai economic recovery trails others in Asia – ADB

    Developing Asia’s economy will rebound faster this year than previously estimated, as nations tread diverging recovery paths, according to the Asian Development Bank.

    Southeast Asia’s forecast was lowered to 4.4% growth this year amid reduced projections for Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

    The region’s gross domestic product will expand 7.3% this year, better than the 6.8% forecast in December and a turnaround from last year’s 0.2% contraction, the ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook released Wednesday. It sees developing Asia’s growth moderating to 5.3% in 2022.

    “Economies in the region are on diverging paths,” ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said. “Their trajectories are shaped by the extent of domestic outbreaks, the pace of their vaccine rollouts, and how much they are benefiting from the global recovery.”

    Strong exports and a recovery in household consumption will help China’s economy to expand 8.1% this year -- faster than the 7.7% forecast previously -- and by 5.5% next year, the Manila-based lender said. India will grow 11% in fiscal year 2021, which ends in March 2022, but the recent surge in coronavirus cases may put this recovery at risk.

    “The most significant threat to this outlook is the unfavourable evolution of the Covid pandemic,” Sawada said Wednesday morning in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Rishaad Salamat and Haslinda Amin, citing both renewed outbreaks of the virus as well as the effectiveness of national vaccination plans.

    ‘Indispensable’ stimulus

    Fiscal stimulus that softened the pandemic’s blow had boosted the region’s debt burden, though at about 65% of economic output it remained “manageable,” Sawada said.

    “The massive package at this moment is really indispensable to handle the downside pressure on the economy generated by the pandemic,” he said.

    While the US Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy could produce some price pressures in Asia, he predicted that “substantial slack in many economies will keep a lid on inflationary pressures” over the next two years.

    Other key points from the report:

    Economic recovery is particularly strong in East Asia, but weaker elsewhere, especially in the Pacific. Differing trends are also apparent in labour markets, with unemployment declining unevenly across economies
    The region’s average inflation is forecast to fall to 2.3% in 2021 from 2.8% as food-price pressures ease
    Developing Asia’s current account surplus is projected to narrow to 2.1% of GDP in 2021 from 2.4%, as healthier economic activity leads to faster growth in imports than exports: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business...rs-in-asia-adb
    • Little more than a month away and the PM is still here (2 years)……..

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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