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Economy

Thailand Q2 economic growth tops expectations

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones) -- Thailand's economic growth eased in the second quarter but beat expectations, buoyed by steady growth in exports and improvement in domestic demand and private-sector spending.

Gross domestic product expanded 4.6% from a year earlier in the April-June period, decelerating from the revised 4.9% growth for the previous quarter, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board, the government's economic planning arm. The board said some softness in manufacturing, tourism and government spending weighed on economic growth in the quarter.

The growth came in faster than the median 4.5% forecast by 11 economists polled earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

The data highlighted that domestic demand improved during the quarter as private consumption rose 4.5% from a year earlier, compared with a revised 3.7% gain in the first quarter. Private consumption makes up just under half the Thai economy.

Government spending grew by 1.4%, after rising 1.9% in the previous quarter.

Public investment rose 4.9% after rising 4% in the first quarter. The agriculture sector expanded 10.4%, compared with 6.5% growth in the preceding quarter.

Exports of goods and services, fueled by technology demand and higher commodity prices, also supported growth, expanding 6.4%, compared with a 6.0% gain in the first quarter. However, some economists question whether the gains in exports can continue over the coming quarters against a backdrop of escalating global trade tensions and a peaking tech cycle.

Private investment rose 3.2% after increasing 3.1% in the previous quarter.

On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, the economy expanded by 1.0%, meeting expectations but lagging behind the revised 2.1% growth for the first quarter.

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