Thailand's economy avoided recession in the second quarter, data from the state planning agency showed on Monday, even as the Southeast Asian nation grapples with a political crisis that has hit consumption, confidence and tourism.
The economy grew 0.9 percent in the three months ending June from the quarter before, in line with expectations, after shrinking a revised 1.9 percent in the first quarter.
On a year-on-year basis, the economy expanded 0.4 percent, compared with a Reuters foreast of 0.3 percent and after contracting a revised 0.5 percent in the first quarter.
The government cited improved exports, eased political tensions and resumption of public spending plus a pick-up in consumer and business confidence as reasons for growth in the second quarter. But it narrowed 2014 GDP growth targets to 1.5-2.0 percent, from an earlier projection of 1.5-2.5 percent.
The Thai baht hit a three-week high against the dollar on the news, rising as much as 0.2 percent to 31.78 per dollar.
According to Krystal Tan, Asia economist with Capital Economics, the military coup in May helped to stabilize the economy.