Thailand’s junta wants to sell a positive story about its coup saving a troubled economy from recession, and while it seems to have business on board there is little evidence yet of a sustainable, broad-based recovery.
A plethora of Thai companies shared the military government’s optimism in recent earnings reports, looking to improved conditions after the May 22 coup ended six months of protests that paralyzed the government and bureaucracy.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy avoided recession by growing 0.9 percent in April-June from the previous quarter, when it shrank a revised 1.9 percent, data showed this week. But the tentative recovery is some way from matching the government spin.
The state planning agency slightly trimmed its full-year forecast but expects a V-shaped rebound by December on rising consumer and business confidence and political stability. It has predicted 4 percent growth in the second half after a 0.1 percent contraction in the first.
Public spending, consumption and agriculture have picked up, but manufacturing, private investment, exports and tourism remain weak, official data show. And, though the military government has vowed to fast-track major infrastructure projects, the benefits of such spending may not be seen until 2015 or later.
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