Thailand’s economy continues to worry investors and analysts as it ends 2019 with the slowest GDP growth in five years and is expected to not meet 2020 forecasts, according to Thailand’s central bank.
The Bank of Thailand said that the economy expanded only 2.5 percent in 2019 and downgraded its previous 2020 forecast to 2.8 percent GDP growth.
The export-reliant nation, like most of Asia, was hit hard by the ramifications of the US-China trade war. The central bank said it expected exports to have fallen by 3.3 percent in 2019.
“Merchandise exports were projected to recover more slowly than expected due to the slowdown in global trade volume affected by trade tensions and the impact of structural changes in the Thai economy on export sector,” stated the central bank report published on Thursday.
The second largest ASEAN economy’s currency has been among the strongest in the world over the past year. In fact, the baht appreciated more than any other currency in Asia.
Foreign investors also looked elsewhere or sat on their wallets as the baht strengthened throughout 2019, becoming one of the strongest currencies in the world. The high value of the baht lowered growth in high value economic sectors like real estate to tourism.