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Thai economy shrinks 0.6 in Q1, first time since 2011: official data

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Thai economy shrinks 0.6 in Q1, first time since 2011: official data

BANGKOK, May 19, 2014 (AFP) - Thailand's economy shrunk 0.6 percent year on year in January-March, data showed Monday, as the kingdom's political crisis battered consumer confidence and frightened off tourists.


The contraction is the first since the last three months of 2011, when the country was hit by massive flooding. The National Economic and Social Development Board also slashed its growth outlook for 2014, forecasting 1.5-2.5 percent expansion, down from a previous estimate of 3.0-4.0 percent.

afplogo.jpg
-- (c) Copyright AFP 2014-05-19

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Crisis-hit Thai economy shrinks 0.6% in Q1: govt

BANGKOK, May 19, 2014 (AFP) - Thailand's economy shrunk 0.6 percent year on year in January-March, data showed Monday, as the kingdom's festering political crisis battered consumer confidence and frightened off tourists.


The contraction is the first since the last three months of 2011, when the country was hit by massive flooding, and comes as opposition protesters press for the removal of a bloodied caretaker government.

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) also slashed its growth outlook for 2014, forecasting 1.5-2.5 percent expansion, down from a previous estimate of 3.0-4.0 percent.

Consumers reeled in their spending "due to increasing concerns over the domestic political situation" that has seen nearly seven months of anti-government protests, a prime minister toppled and street violence that has left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded.

Southeast Asia's second biggest economy remains without a fully functioning government, cramping state spending and investment in key infrastructure projects and prompting the NESDB forecast reduction.

The Thai economy in 2014 "is likely to grow at a slow pace as a result of the economic contraction in the first quarter" while the "political uncertainty" will also limit expansion, the board said in a statement.

The kingdom had enjoyed a reputation as "Teflon Thailand" for its enviable record of economic resilience in the face of the last eight years of political upheaval as well as devastating floods in 2011.

But Fitch Ratings has warned that its "'BBB+" sovereign credit rating could be clipped if the political deadlock continues through the second half of this year.

- 'The stakes are rising' -

"The stakes are rising," Capital Economics warned in a briefing note. "Private sector confidence is likely to remain dire until there are at least some signs that the crisis is moving towards a resolution. And without a functional government, public spending will stay shackled," it added.

Consumer confidence has slumped to its lowest level in more than a decade and tourist arrivals dipped by around eight or nine percent in February and March as foreign investors nervously watch the political crisis unfold.

The ruling party has staggered on despite a controversial court ruling this month that saw premier Yingluck Shinawatra thrown out off office along with several cabinet ministers.

She was swiftly replaced by Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan who is facing pressure to step down as caretaker leader in favour of a premier appointed by the Thai upper house.

Anti-government protesters are calling on the part-elected, part-appointed Senate to invoke a clause in the constitution to remove the government and name a new premier.

Senators are mulling the case for an appointed leader, although critics say such a move has no legal basis.

Thailand has been scored by a deep political divide since 2006 when Yingluck's billionaire brother Thaksin was ousted in a military coup but retains a major influence from overseas, where he lives to avoid jail for a corruption conviction.

Until now, the economy has proved resilient in the face of several rounds of pro- and anti-Thaksin protests since then.

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-- (c) Copyright AFP 2014-05-19

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

legitimate government? cheesy.gif The courts just told they did abuse their power and the NACC found out they are corrupt. Don't need to talk about the vote buying

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Yes the floods hit hard. As did the rice pledging scheme. Paying up to 50% above international market prices and keeping the rice instead of selling it doesn't exactly contribute to growth. Losing the number one rice exporter position will have longer term effect too. And then of course there's the allover corruption which doesn't contribute to the economical development either.

But I read the missunderstood fugitive tripled his wealth over the past few years. Perhaps he can help Thailand making money again?

Thaksinomics only benefits Thaksin and others hanging on to his shirt tails.

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Yes the floods hit hard. As did the rice pledging scheme. Paying up to 50% above international market prices and keeping the rice instead of selling it doesn't exactly contribute to growth. Losing the number one rice exporter position will have longer term effect too. And then of course there's the allover corruption which doesn't contribute to the economical development either.

But I read the missunderstood fugitive tripled his wealth over the past few years. Perhaps he can help Thailand making money again?

How? By returning the money he has stolen from the Thai people and continues to steal?

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Yes the floods hit hard. As did the rice pledging scheme. Paying up to 50% above international market prices and keeping the rice instead of selling it doesn't exactly contribute to growth. Losing the number one rice exporter position will have longer term effect too. And then of course there's the allover corruption which doesn't contribute to the economical development either.

But I read the missunderstood fugitive tripled his wealth over the past few years. Perhaps he can help Thailand making money again?

Actually, overspending all that money into the economy was probably an economic stimulus.

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Yes the floods hit hard. As did the rice pledging scheme. Paying up to 50% above international market prices and keeping the rice instead of selling it doesn't exactly contribute to growth. Losing the number one rice exporter position will have longer term effect too. And then of course there's the allover corruption which doesn't contribute to the economical development either.

But I read the missunderstood fugitive tripled his wealth over the past few years. Perhaps he can help Thailand making money again?

How? By returning the money he has stolen from the Thai people and continues to steal?

By having him arrested, thrown in jail and seizing as much of his assets as possible.

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

Dont forget it was Taksins amnesty that started it. So it is your beloved government that is responsible.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

Dont forget it was Taksins amnesty that started it. So it is your beloved government that is responsible.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

The alleged Thaksin amnesty has been off the table for a long time. The amnesty, like the flood, is water under the bridge. Yet, the hemorrhaging of the Thai economy continues.

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Is this supposed to be surprising? The government was borrowing so much and pumping it into the economy, now it has stopped. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that will make it contract.

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If Thaskin was dead he would still be blamed I do not support anyone as they are all corrupt but why do people continue to blame the same person. The majority of wealthy people are crooks they pay crooked lawyers to cook their books it happens today and it will happen long after we are all dead wealth brings wealth by being ahead of the game !

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

Dont forget it was Taksins amnesty that started it. So it is your beloved government that is responsible.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

The alleged Thaksin amnesty has been off the table for a long time. The amnesty, like the flood, is water under the bridge. Yet, the hemorrhaging of the Thai economy continues.

But the corruption that should have covered with the amnesty still costs. 25.000 cases was said somewhere.

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

Are you for real?

Rice pledging scheme (farmers not paid)

Corruption (nepotism, cronyism)

Car buy out scheme (people not paid)

Corrupt bill to bring back Thaksin without charge

School tablets fiasco

Missing flood prevention money

Rubber farmers crisis

Foreign investment down

I could go on,,, where have you been, are you not aware of all this issues?

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I guess this shows that a massive flood of people trying to topple a legitimate government and block/prevent elections can do as much damage as a real flood! How much more damage needs to be done?

Dont forget it was Taksins amnesty that started it. So it is your beloved government that is responsible.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

The alleged Thaksin amnesty has been off the table for a long time. The amnesty, like the flood, is water under the bridge. Yet, the hemorrhaging of the Thai economy continues.

Yet it was the start of the problem it totally blew all trust in the government, so they are the cause and reforms are the only way to change and get a stable country. Now who would trust a government who would secretly push for an amnesty of the top crook and include 25.000 corruption cases. Not to mention a government who slashed the budget of anti corruption agency.

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