Updated February 2013 with latest available data from NESDB (National Economic and Social Development Board) of Thailand
Source : World Bank (update October 2011)
Growth evaluated every 5 years.
The 1997 crisis really set Thailand back.
Thailand Gross Domestic Product has been growing substantially over the last few decades (see graphs below). Between 1960 and the Asian crisis of 1997, GDP annual growth oscillated between 5 and around 10 percent per year. From 1988 to 1990 there was growth substantially higher than 10 %.
The Asian economic crisis of 1997 caused the first (and substantial) drop into negative territory. Afterwards growth overall seems to trend around 5 % per year. A second dip into negative territory occurred with the global crisis of 2008-2009 with negative growth of 2.3 % in Thailand in 2009. Growth in 2010 was measured at 7.8 %, this despite significant policital disturbances.
2011 showed no growth overall due to the flooding at the end of the year.
GDP per capita (current US $) in 2011 was 4,972 US dollar.(World Bank)
The World Bank sets the GDP per capita (PPP method) at 8,646 US Dollars for 2011. (World Bank)
Growth rates since 2001(World Bank) :
(data show growth of only 0.1 % for 2011,
after a contraction of 8.9% year-on-year during the last quarter,
due to severe flooding)
The growth in the first quarter of 2012 was just 0,4% Y-on-Y, then picked up and
reached no less than 18.9% in the last quarter of 2012, when compared to
the 'flooded' last quarter of 2011.
| *NESDB ( National Economic and Social Development Board of Thailand)
What is even more interesting than the GDP figures for the whole of Thailand, are the data for the different regions and provinces of the country. The static data for 2010 (as provided by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board of Thailand (NESDB), show that there are great differences in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita between the different regions and provinces..
The Gross 'Provincial' Product in the Northeast (Isaan) and to a lesser extent in the North, is substantially lower than in Bangkok, the Central and the Eastern Region. The Gross Provincial Product of the Southern and Western Regions is situated in between.
GDP in Bangkok and surrounding provinces is more than 9 times bigger than in the poorest (and most populated) Isaan Region of Thailand.
Note that the data provided here are expressed in Thai baht and indicate real GDP, as compared to the data provided by the World Bank which show the PPP value.
In short, real GDP has reached about 5,200 U.S. Dollar per year (average exchange rate for 2010 was about 31 Thai Baht for 1 Dollar) for the whole country, while
Gross Domestic Product by Purchasing Power Parity method is equivalent to about 8,500 U.S. Dollar for 2010 (2011 : 8,646 U.S.$).
||GDP per capita* :
|Bangkok and Vicinity
|North Eastern Region
|All of Thailand
* Real GDP in Thai Baht at current market prices
Source : Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
Note : data 2010 (last available beginning 2013!).
The static latest GDP numbers of course do not reveal recent trends in income across Thailand. When looking at the data as provided by NESDB for the period between 2001 and 2010, it is clear that there is a pronounced difference in GDP growth rate between Bangkok (and its surrounding provinces) and the other regions of Thailand.
GDP growth is highest in the Eastern Region, where a lot of heavy industry is located. What is most interesting is that growth in Bangkok is the lowest in the country. Obviously, the provinces have a lot of catching up to do, and they are slowly doing it.
While the Northeast and the North of the country still have an enormous way to go, the development is promising. For all his faults, the policies of the Thaksin Shinawatra governments between 2001 and 2006 (universal health care, a farm debt moratorium, village microcredit programs, entrepreneurial programs and rice price pledging schemes) may have had a modest beneficial effect.
GDP growth in Thai baht from 2001 and 2010 for different regions of Thailand.
GDP growth rates in different regions of Thailand (2001 GDP set to =100).
Current market prices GDP growth is used, so the absolute numbers (not corrected for inflation)
are not that useful. Just compare the trends in different regions, with Bangkok showing the slowest growth.
The fundamental problem is the way GDP is generated throughout the country. Agriculture employs 41% of the labor force (2010) and generates only 12.2 % of GDP. This to a large extent, explains the low GDP in the northern and northeastern region of Thailand.
Needless to say, the income disparity that presently exists, will continue to exist for a long time and has negative social and political effects.
For a substantial overview of the Thai economy (latest report 2010) overall and in the provinces, check out this NESDB file. Hopefully the link stays active.
More Data : GDP data for all the Regions and Provinces of Thailand