Thailand: Consumer confidence lowest since 1999

  • Consumer confidence slumped to a 21-year low in Apr 20 as the public remained worried about the poor economy, unemployment and future incomes.
  • The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) reported that the consumer confidence index fell to 47.2 in Apr 20 from 50.3 in Mar 20. This was the 14th straight monthly decline and the lowest level since Oct 99.
  • Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the UTCC, said economic conditions are at a critical level and consumer spending is unlikely to recover for at least 3-6 months.
  • He said the lower confidence stems from consumers’ expectation that the economy will fall into a depression with weakened domestic purchasing power, tourism, exports and employment.
  • The farm sector remains stunted by drought, while farm prices are still relatively low, Mr Thanavath said.
  • The university estimates that the pandemic will cause damage of up to THB1.5tr in 1H20: THB700bn in lost tourism revenue, THB300bn from lower private consumption and the rest from lower exports and border trade.
  • The recent easing of measures for certain businesses by the government is estimated to result in up to THB3bn in added spending per day, Mr Thanavath said.

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