A private-sector-led committee is optimistic that Thailand will meet its 2.5-4% GDP growth target this year if various measures are implemented.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB) stated that they are monitoring economic factors such as rising inflation, rising oil prices, tourist arrivals, and other variables.
Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said that the inflation rate is expected to be between 3.5-5.5% while exports are expected to grow by 3-5%. He stated that the committee is keeping an eye on a possible wage increase as well as the impact of rising oil prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the Thai economy.
The FTI, however, said it disagreed with the 492-baht minimum wage increase suggestion, arguing that the spike would adversely impact small and medium-sized businesses already dealing with the economic impact of Covid-19 and higher inflation.
The FTI chairman also expressed concern about the government’s reduction of the diesel price subsidy program, which will cause diesel prices to rise above 30 baht per liter, warning that the inflation rate could exceed 5% if prices continue to rise. The JSCCIB urged the government to limit diesel prices to 35 baht for three months in order to ease the financial burden on households and businesses, as well as extend the diesel excise tax cut, which is set to end on May 20, for another three months.