Thai economy barely grew in 2014 after protests, coup

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BANGKOK (AP) — Officials say Thailand's economy grew only 0.7 percent last year as investment and exports declined after a May coup.

The National Economic and Social Development Board says Monday that 2014's growth was lower than the forecast of 1 percent as growth in private consumption was weak and investment contracted.

It predicted Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy will expand by 3.5-4.5 percent in 2015 as world growth picks up.

Thailand was hit by months of anti-government protests that led to May's military coup.

The agency said the political situation made the number of tourists decline by 1.77 million people compared with 2013.

It said the economy grew by 2.3 percent in the October-December quarter compared with 1.7 percent in the previous quarter. It shrank in the first half of the year.