Bangkok, Thailand (4E) – Thailand’s economy expanded at a faster pace than anticipated in the last three months of 2013, despite the anti-government protests in the capital Bangkok that started last fall.
Gross domestic product (GDP) climbed 0.6 percent in the quarter ended December from the previous year, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) report released Monday. The gain was the smallest since the first quarter of 2012, according to previous data. The median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was 0.3 percent. The GDP rose 2.9 percent last year from a revised 6.5 percent in 2012.
Almost daily street protests by the opposition, who are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, have brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the capital since November. The unrest had affected spending and hurt consumer confidence, the economic planning agency said.
The NESDB also reduced its investment growth forecast for 2014 to 3.1 percent from a previous estimate of 7.1 percent, due to lower public spending. The report also stated that outlook for consumption growth dropped to 1.6 percent from 2.9 percent. Exports may increase 5 percent to 7 percent in 2014, the agency said.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the GDP grew at a revised 1.4 percent in the third quarter.