Thailand's Slow Recovery Continues in January
BANGKOK-Thailand's economy showed mixed signs of improvement in January, as tourist arrivals increased but consumption and investment remained flat, data from the Bank of Thailand showed Friday.
More than 2.6 million tourists arrived in Thailand in January - a 15.9% on-year rise.
However, the country's private consumption index dropped 1.5% from a year ago in the month, widening from a 0.8% on- year fall in December.
On a month-over-month-basis, PCI edged up 0.2%, compared with a 0.2% contraction seen in the previous month.
Private investment slipped 0.2% year-over-year in January despite lower production costs as a result of falling oil prices, the central bank said.
The BOT said that the latest data showed consumers remained cautious about spending while business still awaited clarity on the economic recovery and the government's infrastructure investment.
Thailand recorded a trade surplus of $1.4 billion and a current account surplus of $2.5 billion in January, compared with $3.6 billion and $5.5 billion in December.
"The pace of the recovery will continue to be gradual in 1Q15 with tourism expected to act as the main growth engine," said Roong Mallikamas, a senior director of the BOT.
Thailand's central bank forecast 4.0% GDP growth for 2015, following 0.7% growth in 2014.