The Thai economy is likely to grow 5.3 percent this year (2011) and 4.3 percent next year if this year’s planned general election proceeds smoothly, according to a top commercial banker.
Matthew Lobner, chief executive officer of HSBC (Thailand), said the Thai economy grew impressively at eight percent last year and is expected to gain momentum both this year and next.
The general election, if held smoothly, would boost investment sentiment and encourage business operators to run their businesses efficiently.
He predicted that the policy interest rate would be raised further from the current 2.25 percent to three percent by the end of this year in a bid to contain the inflation rate, which is forecast to stay at 3.8 percent this year.
The Thai baht is projected to strengthen again, depending on the inflation direction, interest rate, and the election results.