Export-dependent economies were hit hard by the recession, and Thailand’s economy and exchange traded fund were no exception. But in a turn of events, Thailand’s exports are in full-on turnaround mode, but it’s not the only thing going right.
- Exports in Thailand rose the most in 17 months in December, on increased demand for rice, electronics and auto parts
- Thailand’s imports rose 28.2% and exports rose 26.1% year-over-year in December on rising demand for electronics and auto parts, reports Suttinee Yuvejwattana for Bloomberg. Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said that the year-long recession probably ended somewhere during the last three months of 2009. [Thailand, right on track?]
- Julia Goh, economist at CIMB Investment Bank, expects exports to rebound further as the United States continues to recover and demand from Asia increases. Commerce Minister Ponrtiva Nakasai believes the country will meet the 14% growth projections for exports. [Step aside, BRIC ETFs: What about the 'MAVINS'?]
- Thailand’s economy may expand 5% in the first quarter as a result of increased exports and government spending on infrastructure, report Max Estayo and Shamim Adam for Bloomberg. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says Thailand’s economy will expand at least 3.5% in 2010 after contracting 3% last year.
- The Bank of Thailand is still keeping its benchmark rate at 1.25%. But if domestic demand increases, there is a slight possibility of a small rate increase in the second half of the year, says Ekniti Nitithanprapas, spokesman for the ministry. [Looking past emerging market ETFs.]
Thailand’s baht has been gaining against the U.S. dollar and the Bank of Thailand has kept “the exchange rate in line with other currencies” quite well, says Ekniti. The baht “may fluctuate a lot” during 2010 as more people invest in the economy, he added.
- iShares MSCI Thailand (NYSEARCA:THD)
Max Chen contributed to this article.