Thailand Plans 200 Billion Economic Stimulus

Thailand plans stimulus spending that the government hopes will spark a 200 billion THB economic boost, as officials try to counter a slowdown caused by the US-China trade war and currency strength.

The package includes help for farmers and people on low incomes, as well as initiatives to bolster consumer spending and investment, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said in a Facebook post. The proposal needs Cabinet approval, and an initial ministerial meeting to discuss it began Friday.

“The government is confident that these measures will alleviate the Thai people’s troubles,” Uttama said, adding they will encourage the “additional circulation in the economy of no less than 200 billion baht in the second half of the year.”

Calls are growing for governments around the world to loosen their budgets to tackle economic slowdowns. Central banks say they can’t do the job with monetary stimulus alone. The Bank of Thailand unexpectedly lowered borrowing costs this month, but elevated household debt limits its scope for aggressive easing.

“Current math for the 2020 fiscal year suggests that there is ample room to increase spending and still keep within statutory limitations for the deficit and public debt levels,” said Radhika Rao, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore