New Transportation research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/21/2013 -- Resilient But Wobbly Growth Pattern
The Thai economy grew very strongly in Q412, and then weakened abruptly in Q113. Year-on-year GDP growth in the last quarter of 2012 was a spectacular 18.9%, which then dipped to a below-consensus 5.3% in the first quarter of 2013. To some extent this was to be expected. Given base effects (in Q411 the country was hit by devastating floods) the end-2012 growth number was always going to be somewhat off-the-scale. It was also boosted by one-off vehicle tax rebates and the government's costly programme of rice subsidies. In contrast, since the beginning this year neighbouring countries have been easing down interest rates, making the Thai currency appear comparatively overvalued. With the exception of the booming automobile sector, exports are encountering headwinds from sluggish world demand. We also believe that in the second half of this year mainland China's rebalancing process will lead to somewhat slower growth there, with a consequential downside impact on the region as a whole. The upshot is that, with some ups and downs across quarters, we expect GDP growth of 4.0% in 2013. This is down from the 6.4% achieved last year, and weaker than the Bloomberg consensus for 2013 which stands at 4.8%.
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In 2013, freight sector activity will be mixed, but broadly in line with the pace of GDP and foreign trade growth. Road and rail freight will contract slightly, influenced by the slower pace of growth in the economy relative to 2012. However, air freight and maritime cargo growth will be positive, and more closely linked to the pattern of foreign trade. We note, that foreign trade growth at 5.4% in real terms, will outstrip GDP expansion of 4.0%.
Headline Industry Data
- Gross tonnage at Laem Chabang, the country's largest port, set to rise by 5.0% to 45.505mn tonnes in 2013 (compared to the estimated 5.4% growth in 2012).
- At the Port of Bangkok, BMI now projects that tonnage growth will reach 4.1% growth in 2013 (down from 8.0% in 2012) to 19.412mn tonnes.
- We now expect the real value of foreign trade to grow 5.4% in 2013, with imports up by 6.4% and exports lower at 4.4%.
- 2013 air freight tonnage growth forecast at 4.4% and to average 4.2% a year to 2017.
- 2013 rail freight tonnage throughput forecast to fall by 1.9% to 10.792mn tonnes, and to grow on average 1.2% a year to 2017.
- Road freight tonnage expected to contract by 1.3% in 2013 to reach 400.648mn tonnes
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