Thailand flag Thailand: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Thailand is the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, and with an upper-middle income status, serves as an economic anchor for its developing neighbour countries. The country's economy appears resilient and, according to the IMF, is expected to advance at a moderate pace in a post-COVID-19 context, despite domestic political uncertainty. Public investment is projected to remain a key driver, increasing over the next few years, in line with the government’s infrastructure plans to attract private investment and a continued improvement of the tourism sector. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country registered negative GDP growth for the first time since 1998, going from +2.3% in 2019 to -6.1% in 2020. The GDP growth rate reached +1.5% in 2021 and +2.8% in 2022. According to the IMF's latest forecast, GDP growth is expected to reach 3.7% in 2023 and +3.6% in 2024, subject to the post-pandemic global economy recovery (IMF, October 2022).

Inflation went negative to an estimated  -0.8% in 2020 and reached 1.2% in 2021 before jumping to 6.2% in 2022 following the global world trend. It is projected to decrease to 2.8% in 2023 and 1.5% in 2024 (IMF, October 2022). The general government balance fell to -5.3% of GDP in 2021 and -3.8% in 2022. It is projected to be reduced to  -0.4% in 2023 and 2024. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic public debt increased to 58.4% in 2021 and 61.5% in 2022, from 49.6% in 2020. It is estimated to stabilised at  61.4% in 2023 and 61.3% in 2024 (IMF, October 2022).. The National Strategic Plan (2017-2036) places the emphasis on improving the business environment, boosting the country's competitiveness and long-term economic performance through the development of rail, road, airport, and electricity infrastructures.

The unemployment rate remained very low in 2022 (1.5%) and is projected to stay at 1% in 2023 and 2024 (IMF, October 2022). Thailand's official unemployment rate is among the lowest in the world due to low birth rate, lack of social insurance and informal sector employing the bulk of workforce (street vendors, motorbike taxis and self-employed).

In 2023, the country’s most immediate challenge will be to navigate the volatile international context, facing steep challenges against a backdrop of the persistent health and economic overhang of a global pandemic and a war in Europe, a cost-of-living crisis caused by persistent and broadening inflation pressures, and the slowdown in China.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 495.42512.19543.25579.69613.50
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 7,0707,2987,7318,2438,718
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -3.4-0.9-1.0-1.2-0.9
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 60.561.462.962.662.0
Inflation Rate (%) n/a1.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -14.71-0.8410.1315.3518.66
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.0-

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Thailand Baht (THB) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 8.857.807.055.965.59

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: November 2023