Public debt rises to 3,59 trillions THB in february

Thailand’s public debt at the end of February stood at 39.93 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), not far from the statutory ceiling of 50 per cent of GDP as required by law, a senior Ministry of Finance official said on Monday.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, director-general of the Public Debt Management Office, said Thailand’s national debt at end of February was approximately Bt3.59 trillion.

Of the total amount, about Bt2.29 trillion was in direct government borrowings, Bt1.01 trillion from state enterprises which are not financial institutions, Bt182 billion were debts incurred by government-run financial institutions, Bt110 billion in debts of the Financial Institution and Development Fund and Bt3.68 billion by other government agencies, he said. […]

Compared to January 2009, Thailand’s public debt in February increased by Bt73.78 billion, Pongpanu said. (TNA)

The percentage of GDP is idiotic. For one very good reason : GDP is falling. Right now. While you’re reading this.

So the percentage will increase. Mechanically.

In 2008, total GDP was 9 102 billions (at current prices). Let’s assume a drop of 5 % for the whole year, that would make 8 647 billions… So a ratio debt to GDP of 42 %.

But we forget another factor… during the year the total debt will continue to go up ! 😉

The government is penny less… And despite (shy) calls for budget cuts… the debt will increase. Abhisit has no choice.

So the ratio debt to GDP will follow. Up. No escape.

[Rendez-vous may 20, the NESDB will publish the GDP report for Q1 2009]

11 Responses to “Public debt rises to 3,59 trillions THB in february”

  1. 1 ray 28 April 2009 at 11:31 am

    falling gdp, falling tourism, falling exports, its a crash. do u see thai baht @ 40 to us dollar by dec 09?

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 28 April 2009 at 11:59 am

    I wrote it many times : beware of the “binary type relationship”… thai economy crashes = THB crashes.

    The equation has many other factors. Furthermore, an exchange rate is relative, one currency to another one. For instance, what will happen if the THB crashes AND the USD crashes, at the same time ?

  3. 3 antipadshist 28 April 2009 at 2:53 pm

    with “competative devaluation” of asian currencies it wouldn’t be s surprise if thai baht is devalued too.
    despite the fact now admitted even by Thais (I’ve read some article on Bkk post recently I think) that USD is gonna down.

    interesteing observation aboud VAT
    it looks like now in supermarkets they do not mention VAT anymore in bills – sort of concealing it from customers, perhaps in attempt that customers wouldn;t pay attention?

  4. 4 Marvo 28 April 2009 at 5:02 pm

    A lot of people (expats mainly) on blogs and forums comment (read moan) about the strength of the baht when the THB has in fact been slowly but surely weakening against the USD since capital controls were lifted.

    If you were carrying USD and dealing with Thailand in November 2007 and you came back again today, you have 4.4% MORE baht for your USD.

    Now, on the other hand, if you were a Brit dealing with Thailand in November 2007 and you came back again today, you have 28% LESS baht for your GBP.

    This (for me from a Brit holding GBP perspective only) makes the USD/THB range over the last 18 months almost a non issue so far.

    USD crash??? I fear that continuing worldwide belief in the USD as THE “safe haven” is still holding and even growing, which I think coupled with the mindboggling universal belief in all the bullshite spouted by Geitner & Co., will continue to prop the $ (against the odds) for some time yet.

    The question is, for how long is the Thai export industry prepared to go along for the ride?

  5. 5 maverick263 28 April 2009 at 7:52 pm

    as bad as it looks, tc –

    uk, one of g-8, let’s call ’em “world leaders” for fun of it…

    uk by today _already_ is up to a ratio debt of ___80%___. & a lot more countries will find themselves in similar conditions, soon 😉

    let’s give it 1, 2 more years & ppl of the world, ppl in so-called “liberal democracies”, will realize they’ve been slave-marketed for the benefit of the very same people, institutions, systemic structure that were @ root of crisis.

    not only that, in ab 3-5 years ppl will realize that trillions of debts now flushed down the drain to commercial enterprises that are meant to perish… people will not only experience enforced restrain on individual life-styles + bleak outlooks for their children — on top of it, it’ll become apparent, that today’s bailouts support a status-quo that’s causal responsible for a dying earth, a decline in personal well-being.

    let’s see it as a chance. a chance to bring ab political reform. a chance to bring ab a market that’s fair & sustainable.

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 28 April 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Maverick : You preach someone who is already converted. 😉 Regarding the “Dildo economy”, the “stimulus” obesssion, the “boost” bias and the “bailout” disease… I often wrote : “this is not a thai exclusivity”.
    US, Europe, UK and many others : same same and absolutely not different, for that matter !
    And probably even worse.

    The vicious part is that the debts of some are the… assets of others… And in some case, the same people 😉 This is why the system is insane. It has been pushed to its limits.

    And this is why to wipe out debts (which would be the solution, to reboot the system), by writting them down for instance, is not a choice that politicians are willing to make ! And this is the cause of the “bailout” obscene music that they are all playing.

    That leaves only one solution : to reduce the debts… by other means… in silent mode… wishing that no one would notice (wrong of course) : debasement.


    That would dilute the pain, among all of us… But the amounts are just too crazy… It can’t work…. It can’t possibly work. But at least, it would save a little bit of time….

  7. 7 chinesethai 28 April 2009 at 8:35 pm

    maverick263 & Marvo,

    It is interesting to read your comments. And it is even astonishing for me to see how your views are so similar to one of my friends, a British senior spending his retirement in Thailand. A long-time, frugal saver who has never been involved in risky investment, he often voices his anger about the British Government in handling the economy exactly just like you just did.

  8. 8 ray 29 April 2009 at 10:56 am

    its capitalist for the poor and social welfare for the rich/elite.

    thus the term ” too big to fail , too small to save”

  9. 9 chinesethai 29 April 2009 at 8:16 pm


    U.S. economy shrinks by 6.1%
    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy shrank at a worse-than-expected 6.1 per cent pace at the start of this year as sharp cutbacks by businesses and the biggest drop in U.S. exports in 40 years overwhelmed a rebound in consumer spending.

  10. 10 ThaiCrisis 29 April 2009 at 9:17 pm

    To be complete about US GDP : 6,1 % is on “annual rate” (AKA difference between Q4 and Q1, times 4).

    On a year on year comparison (AKA Q1 2008), used more in Europe and in Thailand, the decrease is 2,6 %.

    Other point : this early report will be followed by 2 others. So watch out with revisions….

  11. 11 ThaiCrisis 29 April 2009 at 9:17 pm

    To be complete about US GDP : 6,1 % is on “annual rate” (AKA difference between Q4 and Q1, times 4).

    On a year on year comparison (AKA Q1 2008), used more in Europe and in Thailand, the decrease is 2,6 %.

    Other point : this early report will be followed by 2 others. So watch out with revisions….

    By the way, I just saw a great comment on Calculated Risk (check article about US GDP Q1 report) :

    Question.I keep hearing about “Green Shoots”.Is “Shoot” the past tense of “Shit”?

    Priceless ! 😉 I love it !

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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