Economy of Thailand

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Economy - overview: After enjoying the world's highest growth rate from 1985 to 1995 - averaging almost 9% annually - increased speculative pressure on Thailand's currency in 1997 led to a crisis that uncovered financial sector weaknesses and forced the government to float the baht. Long pegged at 25 to the dollar, the baht reached its lowest point of 56 to the dollar in January 1998 and the economy contracted by 10.2% that same year. Thailand entered a recovery stage in 1999, expanding 4.2% and grew about the same amount in 2000, largely due to strong exports - which increased about 20% in 2000. An ailing financial sector and the slow pace of corporate debt restructuring, combined with a softening of global demand, is likely to slow growth in 2001.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $413 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (1999 est.), 4.2% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  13%
industry:  40%
services:  47% (1999)
Population below poverty line: 12.5% (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 37.1% (1992)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.4% (1999 est.), 2.1% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 32.6 million (1997 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 54%, industry 15%, services 31% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1998 est.), 3.7% (2000 est.)
Budget:
revenues:  $19 billion
expenditures:  $21 billion (2000 est.)
Industries: tourism; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer
Industrial production growth rate: 3% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 85 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  91.17%
hydro:  3.81%
nuclear:  0%
other:  5.02% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 80.293 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
Exports: $58.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.), $68.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: computers and parts, textiles, integrated circuits, rice
Exports - partners: US 22%, Japan 14%, Singapore 9%, Hong Kong 5%, Netherlands 4%, Malaysia 4%, UK 4% (1999)
Imports: $45 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.), $61.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
Imports - partners: Japan 26%, US 14%, Singapore 6%, China 5%, Malaysia 5%, Taiwan 5% (1999)
Debt - external: $90 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $131.5 million (1998 est.)
Currency: baht (THB)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Thailand > Map Economy History