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Thai government spending to target low-income groups - Finance Minister

Thai government spending to target low-income groups - Finance Minister

FILE PHOTO: Thai finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith speaks during an interview with Reuters in Bangkok, Thailand, October 19, 2022. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK : Thailand's economic stimulus policies will be more targeted toward vulnerable groups and low-income households, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on Wednesday.

"Government stimulus will be lessened as more people come back to work," he told a business forum, adding that growth was being driven by exports, government spending, and tourism.

The economy should grow 3.4 per cent this year and 3.8 per cent in 2023, despite global headwinds, he said, while fiscal policy will be more focused.

He expects foreign tourist arrivals to reach 10 million this year.

The strengthening baht was not affecting recovery, he said. The baht had recovered to 35.53 on Wednesday, the highest in nearly three months.

Speaking at the same forum, assistant central bank governor Piti Disyatat said Thailand's economy was expected to reach pre-pandemic levels this year or early next year.

"Q3 (growth) should be higher than 3 per cent," he said, adding fourth quarter growth should be higher as well.

The central bank was closely monitoring fund flows because of the strong baht and had not found any irregularities, he said.

He added the central bank's approach to interest rates going forward would be a continuation of its previous approach and that it would not "surprise the market".

The central bank's next monetary policy meeting will be on November 30.

Inflation is expected to be moderate and the central bank would have to ensure economic recovery would not add inflationary pressures next year, he said.

Source: Reuters
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