BIZ BRIEFS

Thai economy to grow

MANILA: Thailand’s economic growth is expected to increase to six to seven per cent after general elections expected later this year, finance minister Chalongphob Sussangkarn said. “I’m confident that after we have elections this year, we can go back to our normal growth rate, which I place at six per cent to seven per cent,” Chalongphob said. “That will be a sustainable pace of growth,” he said. The minister said recently he expects Thailand’s GDP

to grow in a range of four per cent to 4.5 per cent this year. — AP

France eyes growth

PARIS: The French government expects the economy to grow by between 2.25 per cent and 2.75 per cent in 2008, economy minister Christine Lagarde said. “According to our predictions, the growth rate will be between 2.25 per cent and 2.75 per cent in 2008,” she said adding that ‘if we can do better, that would be a bonus.’ On June 28, Lagarde said the government was aiming for 2.5 per cent growth next year, which she said was ‘optimistic’. — AFP

Firms’ confidence

TOKYO: Confidence at major Japanese companies remained the same as three months ago, a closely watched Bank of Japan survey showed, possibly reinforcing expectations that the central bank will raise interest rates in August. The quarterly ‘tankan’ survey, which polls more than 10,000 companies nationwide, showed that the sentiment index for large manufacturers stood at 23, unchanged from the previous survey in March. — AP