The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCC) Consumer confidence index hit 49.7 in December, reflecting a rise in Thai consumers’ optimism about the economy. The indicator has now hit its highest level in 25 months, following seven months of straight growth.
Consumers in Thailand believe the economy has improved because to tourism-related activities, per data from the UTCC’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF). The employment rate and wage levels of individuals were both boosted by the aforementioned actions. Price drops for benzene fuels and signs of stabilization in the domestic COVID-19 outbreak since the year’s halfway point have contributed to a marked reduction in both. In light of these changes, many felt less anxious about their ability to make ends meet.
According to the CEBF, the CCI saw gains across the board in all subcategories as well. The desire to spend sub-index specifically for tourism increased to its highest level in 42 months, coming in at 65.7. Even if consumers still report that the expense of living is high, the index for measuring it has increased to 24.1, the highest reading in 31 years.
Although recent cost-of-living difficulties have been resolved, the CEBF said that its CCI is still fluctuating at levels below 100 points because of the continued high cost of living.
The CCI tracked the movement of the Confidence Index published by the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), which is representative of the sentiments of Thai enterprises generally. In December, the index hit 45.5, the highest point in three years and six months of record-keeping. However, TCC members voiced worry over increased prices and the possibility of additional waves of COVID-19 breakouts as a result of the inflow of visitors.
Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the UTCC and main advisor to the CEBF, predicted that the Thai economy will function at or close to its norm this year. According to his forecast, GDP would expand by 3.5% to 4%, with the upper end of that range achievable because to the influx of Chinese visitors. Also, Dr. Thanavath pointed out that low oil prices and low inflation in the United States have not had a catastrophic effect on the global economy. It is also anticipated that this year’s general election in Thailand will be beneficial to the country’s economy.