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Cablegate: Thai Economy Continues to Improve

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PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHBK #3007 3290956
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250956Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9106
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI PRIORITY 7339
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BANGKOK 003007

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND EB
STATE PASS TO USTR
TREASURY FOR OASIA
SINGAPORE FOR FINATT BLEIWEIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ECON EINV ELAB TH
SUBJECT: Thai Economy Continues to Improve

1. Summary: Third quarter economic data shows continuing
improvement in the Thai economy. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose
1.3 percent from the second quarter. Nevertheless, GDP was still
down 2.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2008.
Improvements were attributed to the government's stimulus programs,
elevated consumer confidence, and increased tourism and exports.
Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
forecasts GDP to contract by 3 percent for all of 2009, but expand
by 3 to 4 percent in 2010, subject to the global economic recovery
and Thailand's domestic political situation. End Summary and
Comment.

2. On November 23rd, Thailand's National Economic and Social
Development Board (NESDB) released its official report on Thailand's
third quarter economic performance. Compared to the second quarter,
seasonally adjusted GDP expanded by 1.3 percent. The national
economy, however, is still 2.8 percent smaller than it was a year
ago.

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3. The NESDB anticipates positive year-on-year growth to continue in
the fourth quarter of this year and expects the total 2009 GDP
forecast to come in at a 3 percent decline from 2008, slightly more
positive than earlier forecasts. The estimate for the fourth
quarter is based on an expected recovery in the export and tourism
sectors, implementation of investment projects under the second
stimulus package, and increased private consumption.

4. The NESDB forecast relies on continued expansion in the global
economy and planned government spending that will lead the Thai
economy to a 3 to 4 percent expansion in 2010. Its estimate
presumes an expansion in the world economy of 2.8 to 3.2 percent,
effective implementation of government-led investment projects,
strengthened business and consumer confidence, continued relative
political stability, and an average price of crude oil of no more
than 75 USD per barrel.

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