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Thai Q4 GDP grows less than forecast, but exports to stay buoyant

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Thailand's economy grew less than expected in the fourth quarter as government investment dropped, offsetting some of the boost from exports and tourism, but 2017 was still the best in five years.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's economy grew less than expected in the fourth quarter as government investment dropped, offsetting some of the boost from exports and tourism, but 2017 was still the best in five years.

South-east Asia's second-largest economy expanded 0.5 per cent in the October-December quarter from the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, data showed on Monday, slightly less than the 0.7 per cent forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

That was also lower than the September quarter's one per cent pace.

On an annual basis, growth was 4 per cent in the December quarter, less than expected, the National Economic and Social Development Board said. Economists had forecast 4.4 per cent.

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For July-September, annual growth was 4.3 per cent, the fastest since January-March 2013.

In 2017, the economy grew 3.9 per cent, the fastest since 2012, in line with analysts' forecast of 3.9 per cent.

Growth in 2016 was revised up to 3.3 per cent from 3.2 per cent.

The agency maintained its 2018 GDP growth forecast in the range of 3.6-4.6 per cent seen earlier, but it revised up the export outlook to 6.8 per cent growth from 5 per cent.

Analysts polled by Reuters have predicted growth would accelerate further to 4 per cent this year.

REUTERS

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