Thailand's finance ministry on Friday cut its 2023 economic growth forecast to 2.7% from 3.5% seen earlier, due to weaker exports and lower government consumption.

But the ministry sees higher growth of 3.2% in 2024, it said in a statement, adding the projection has yet to price in the effect of the government's planned 'digital wallet' handout scheme. Last year's growth was 2.6%.

As exports are weak, Southeast Asian's second-largest economy continues to be supported by tourism and domestic consumption, the ministry said.

Exports, a key driver of the Thai economy, are forecast to contract 1.8% this year, compared with a previous forecast for a 0.8% drop, but should rise 4.4% next year, the ministry said.

The ministry forecast foreign tourists at 27.7 million this year, compared with an earlier estimate of 29.5 million. It predicts 34.5 million foreign visitors in 2024.

Pre-pandemic 2019 saw a record of nearly 40 million foreign tourists, who spent about 1.91 trillion baht, or more than 11% of gross domestic product (GDP).



(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai)