The Bank of Thailand (BoT) reported that GDP growth in the first quarter of 2023, despite a decline in merchandise exports and manufacturing production, was mainly driven by recovery of domestic and foreign tourists who boosted services and private consumption. Exports fell by 2.2% year-on-year in March before picking up in April. In contrast, private consumption grew by 6% YoY in March, rising from 3.9% in February. The service sector showed signs of improvement as domestic and foreign tourist numbers increased, with foreign tourist arrivals as of 25 April being 8 million, according to BoT’s forecast. Employment in the service and tourism sectors increased to levels close to pre-pandemic levels. The BoT is awaiting official growth figures from the National Economic and Social Development Council.