Date
18 December 2017
Thailand's political crisis is weighing on its economy. Photo: Bloomberg
Thailand's political crisis is weighing on its economy. Photo: Bloomberg

Thai GDP shrinks in first quarter amid political turmoil

Thailand’s gross domestic product contracted sharply in the first quarter as its political impasse weighed on the country’s economy.

First-quarter gross domestic product shrank 0.6 percent from a year earlier, the National Economic and Social Development Board said, more than double the 0.22 percent economists had been expecting, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Thai exports fell 0.4 percent compared with the same time last year despite a revival in Western demand, and imports shrank 8.5 percent.Cconditions are not likely to improve in the second quarter unless the political crisis is resolved, research company Capital Economics was quoted as saying.

Bangkok has been hit by anti-government protests since November, and although the country’s Constitutional Court has ordered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra removed from office, the Election Commission maintains that conditions are too unstable for July elections to go ahead as planned. 

ANZ said the national budget is due in October and if it does not go ahead it could up the risk of a ratings downgrade.

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