BANGKOK (Reuters) -- The Thai government on Tuesday introduced new stimulus measures intended to boost the lagging economy, amid sluggish exports and a slowdown in private consumption.
The government cut its forecast for 2019 growth last week to 2.6% from the 2.7% to 3.2% projected three months ago. Exports have declined amid global trade tensions and a strong baht, which makes Thai products more expensive abroad. The baht is Asia's fastest-rising currency this year.
"The new measures are estimated to inject more than 100 billion baht into the economy and enable 2019 gross domestic product to expand by 2.6%, on target," Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana told reporters.
The new measures allocate 200,000 baht ($6,624.71) to support local businesses in more than 70,000 communities around the country. They also provide low-interest loans valued at 50 billion baht for agricultural cooperatives and farmers from the government's Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.
The government will also provide handouts of up to 10,000 baht to small rice farmers and a debt moratorium. A cash-back scheme for real estate purchases will also be introduced for 100,000 people who earn less than 1.2 million baht annually.
In August, the government also introduced a $10 billion stimulus programme that included support for farmers and the country's tourism businesses.