(Bloomberg) -- The World Bank may boost its projection for economic growth in Thailand, where the pace of expansion hit a five-year high last quarter.
A stable outlook and signs that Thai companies are investing again domestically are among the positive factors for the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, said Ulrich Zachau, the World Bank’s director for Thailand and regional partnerships. The lender’s current estimate is for a 4.1 percent climb in gross domestic product in 2018.
"We may update our projections again -- we may raise them -- depending on further developments and further outcomes," Zachau said in an interview in Bangkok on Tuesday. "Does Thailand have the potential to grow significantly above 4 percent? We believe yes. It will depend on structural reforms."
Thailand must improve education standards, make public-sector management more efficient and tackle the challenge of an aging population to help raise the pace of expansion to 5 percent to 6 percent, Zachau said.
GDP rose 4.8 percent in January through March from a year earlier, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, powered in part by tourism, exports and rebounding farm output.
The pace was the fastest under the military government that seized power in a coup in 2014. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has said an election will be held in February next year.
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