BANGKOK: Thailand's economy grew 2.7 percent in the first quarter thanks to a steady tourism recovery and strong consumer confidence that offset sluggish exports, officials said Monday.
The reading came a day after the country went to the polls and declared little faith in the economic management of incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, rejecting almost a decade of military-backed rule, reports AFP.
The January-March expansion marked a pick-up from 1.4 percent in the previous quarter, the council said.
"Our domestic economy does not have any major problems. Consumption and the tourism sector continue growing," Council secretary Danucha Pichayanan told reporters.
Border restrictions during the pandemic battered the kingdom's key tourism industry, which previously accounted for around a fifth of national income.
So far this year, there have been 6.5 million international tourist arrivals, the council said.
Danucha acknowledged that many Thai households were struggling with high energy costs.
An incoming government must prioritise boosting exports and finding new potential markets by speeding up free trade negotiations, the council said.