Thailand‘s economy kept expanding in the first quarter from a year earlier, though the strengthening of the baht and lower demand dragged down the pace of growth amid a weaker-than-expected global recovery. Gross domestic product rose 5.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, said Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the government’s economic planning agency. First-quarter GDP contracted 2.2% from the preceding three months in seasonally adjusted terms, Mr. Arkhom said at a news conference Monday. Thailand’s government has been warning of slower growth, as the hardening baht made Thai goods less competitive globally. The government has pressured the Central Bank to lower the interest rate, seen as a way to cut global flund flow into Thailand, and take the pressure off the baht rise (Source).