Thailand experienced the world's highest growth rate from 1985 to 1995, following which it saw a contraction in economy by 1.9% in 1997. The year uncovered weaknesses in the financial sector and forced the then Prime Minister, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, to float the currency. The country is considered a newly industrialized country, with tourism and exports contributing significantly to the Thai economy.
Thailand's economy started to recover, expanding by 4.2% in 1999 and 4.4% in 2000, primarily as a result of exports. Although the growth weakened to 2.2% in 2001, due to a slowdown in the global economy, strong growth in Asia, a relatively weak baht and increasing domestic spending put the nation back on the path to recovery in the subsequent years.
Thailand is classified as the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Despite this, Thailand ranks midway in terms of wealth spread in the region, since it is the fourth richest nation, based on GDP per capita, after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.
Thailand's recovery from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 was primarily dependent on exports, among various other factors.
Thailand’s GDP (purchasing power parity):