Thailand cut its 2013 growth forecast as the country entered recession for the first time since the global financial crisis, with rising household debt limiting central bank scope to support the economy. Stocks fell.
Gross domestic product unexpectedly shrank 0.3 percent in the three months through June from the previous quarter, when it contracted a revised 1.7 percent, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok today. Only one of 11 analysts surveyed had predicted a decline. The economy rose a less-than-estimated 2.8 percent from a year earlier.
Thai policy makers are struggling to sustain growth as government spending plans are delayed, while a slowdown in China curbs demand for exports from Southeast Asian nations. The Bank of Thailand will hold the policy interest rate at 2.5 percent at its Aug. 21 meeting, a Bloomberg survey showed, after Assistant Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan said last month that household debt at 80 percent of GDP limits the scope for further easing.
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