Thai economy already bottomed out, say top economists
The Thai economy has already bottomed out given the
improved economic indicators and implementation of the government’s economic
stimulus packages, according to a veteran fund manager and leading academic.
Speaking at a panel discussion on “In-depth Analysis of Hot Stocks:
Opportunities for Well-Off from Thai Stocks,” Maris Tharab, president of ING
(Thailand) Asset Management Co., said that given the recent improvements in
economic signals, he believes the Thai economy has already bottomed out.
Domestic purchasing power has already begun to increase because the public
is daring to spend more.
At the same time, the government’s plan to apply its 2009 budget of about
Bt115 billion and another Bt800 billion in loans meant to stimulate the
economy through development of transport routes and the purple-line electric
mass transit system would enable more money to flow into the economic
These combined actions will enable the Thai economy to begin recovering late
this year and clearly pick up in 2010.
He said the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index had risen at a
slower pace than many countries in the region since early this year although
the value and earning growth of stocks are now more attractive than before.
Because of this, he predicted that the Thai stock market will be more
bullish than the exchanges in neighboring countries in the second half of
Thanawat Polvichai, director of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce
(UTCC) Economic and Business Forecasting Center, said the Thai economy had
already hit bottom.
However, the economy would not recover in a “V” shape as the prime minister
projects, but would instead possibly recover in a “U” shape because
investors and tourists remain worried about local political woes and
external risk factors.
Nevertheless, if the Thai Khem Keng (Stronger Thai) project is successfully
implemented, it would contribute greatly to the country’s economic recovery.