Thailand has fiscal, monetary room to help growth: IMF

Kristalina Georgieva. Reuters file photo

Thailand has sufficient fiscal and monetary policy space to support its economy, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.

"You have the luxury of space in both monetary and fiscal terms. You also have space for deepening structural reforms. This is a good position for Thailand," Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters in Bangkok.

But when and how to use this space depend on domestic policymakers' decisions, she said.

The Bank of Thailand's monetary policy committee will review policy on Wednesday, with economists split on the decision.

A slim majority of economists - 15 out of 28 - polled by Reuters expect the benchmark interest rate to remain at 1.50%, while the rest predict a 25 basis-point cut.

In October, the IMF said risks to Thailand's growth outlook were tilted to the downside and it encouraged an expansionary policy mix to support domestic demand, and structural reforms to promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

The IMF forecast growth of 2.9% for Thailand this year and 3.0% for next year. Last year, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy expanded 4.1%.

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