Thailand Economic Outlook
Thailand saw moderate activity last year, with subdued private investment and manufacturing virtually stagnating for the second consecutive year. Moreover, the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October cast a cloud on consumer sentiment, especially due to an official year-long mourning period. However, there is a silver lining as recent indicators suggest a slight uptick in activity in Q4: exports rebounded strongly in November and manufacturing growth rose at a multi-year high, lifting the subpar annual performance. The political state of affairs is unlikely to gain momentum anytime soon: a recent request from new King Vajiralongkorn to amend the military draft constitution is expected to delay the elections planned for 2017 to 2018. However, the changes requested are not pivotal: they only represent a slight shift of power from the King to the yet-to-be-elected government.