The World Bank expects Thailand's economy to grow by 4.1% in 2018, up from 3.6% forecasted for 2018 last year. The reason cited was the rapid growth in exports and structural reforms. However, the Asian Development Bank predicts 4% for 2018 and 4.1% next year due to an increase in public and private investment as well as rising domestic consumption.
Investment from the public sector is expected to reach 900 billion baht in 2018 due to the government implementing major infrastructure projects such as extending mass rapid transit lines, expanding highways and double-track railways. Furthermore, some of these projects were completed late last year and so we're just beginning to see the effects.
In April 2018 the cost of living index fell for the fourth month running to 63.2 down from 65.1 the previous month (normal levels are indexed at 100). Living expenses (good), moderate and bad (inappropriate) were 11.8% and 39.6% 48.6% respectively. The previous month this was 12.4% 40.3% and 47.3% respectively.
The director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce reported that their latest survey of Thai consumer behaviour found expected spending to reach a 13 year high of over 132 billion baht, which is a 3.5% rise from last year. Domestic tourism will contribute to almost 4 billion baht while foreign tourism will generate as much as 76.84 billion baht, an 11% increase; mainly from Japanese, Korean and Chinese visitors.
Survey of Consumer Confidence in March And April 2018