Finance ministry aims to cushion Thai economy

Uttama says fiscal 2020 budget has enough room to accommodate stimulus spending as needed

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana has asked his ministry officials to come up with measures to bolster the economy. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana has instructed his ministry to seek measures to cushion the economy against global volatility.

The ministry first needs to evaluate the possibility that the global economic downturn will spill over into the Thai economy and then determine measures to alleviate the effects, he said after a meeting with ministry officials on Friday.

“We must brace for global economic volatility resulting from the trade conflict,” he said. 

The revised 2020 budget, which features a deficit of 469 billion baht, should be sufficient to provide a buffer against fluctuations, said Mr Uttama.

The measures will be a component in the government’s economic stimulus package, he said.

The ministry will prioritise accelerating public and state enterprise investment to stimulate the country’s economy. The ministry has also discussed potential monetary policy measures with the Bank of Thailand.

With the economy flagging, the private sector has asked the new government to prioritise stimulus measures.

Mr Uttama said new stimulus measures would have to be consistent with the available funds. Multiple measures may be introduced in succession as required by changing economic conditions.

The economy has been losing momentum, with annual growth of 2.8% in the first quarter — the slowest pace in more than four years. Official second-quarter figures will be announced later this month.


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