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Inflation, Rising Debt and Weak Baht Set to Shape Thai Election

  • Thailand’s growth this year set to lag Southeast Asian peers
  • Challenges not easy to solve as nation heads to vote in 2023
A customer looks at shelves of instant noodles at a supermarket in Bangkok.

A customer looks at shelves of instant noodles at a supermarket in Bangkok.

Photographer: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

As Thai politicians jockey for positions ahead of elections that must be called by March, focus is turning to how the next leadership will manage risks including sky-high prices, a bloated budget deficit and the highest level of household debt in the region.

The tepid pace of recovery in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will be front and center for voters as authorities grapple with the fastest inflation in 14 years, the baht’s plunge to a 2006-low and household debt at 88% of gross domestic product.