Thailand: 2012 GDP comes with strings attached – FT, March 19, 2013
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
Thailand has done it again – exceeding all expectations, even those of its own central bank. The government said on Monday that GDP grew 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 18.9 per cent on the same period in 2011 and bringing full-year growth to 6.6 per cent. The fourth quarter figure is the highest since records began in 1994 and was received as excellent news for the Kingdom – but has also fuelled concerns that a bubble is in the making.
…Yet investors should still be cautious. Analysts at Barclays identified private domestic consumption as an important contributor to buoyant GDP figures but said this was “partly as a result of the government first-car tax rebate scheme”, which pushed 2012 car sales up 80 per cent on the year before. And a controversial and populist government rice subsidy has artificially supported agriculture while building up the world’s biggest rice stockpile, estimated at around 18m tonnes…”
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