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Thais are tightening their belts and spending less – survey

Jack Burton



“Nearly 70% said they’ve reduced spending on things like travel, shopping, parties and luxury goods.”

Thais are tightening their belts and reducing their spending to weather the country’s growing stumbling economy, according to a Dusit Poll survey.

The poll was conducted November 19-23 and surveyed 1,174 people from across Thailand.

When asked how they’ve cut back, nearly 70% said they’ve reduced spending on things like travel, shopping, parties and luxury goods. Slightly more than 40% say they’re spending more time at home and cooking their own meals.

About 23% are making a budget and keeping an account of their expenses, and more than 21% are buying goods only during sales and promotions. Close to 20% of those surveyed said they’re doing extra jobs to supplement their income.

Respondents were also asked how they are reducing what they spend on the four staples… food, housing, clothing and medical care.

More than 62% say they are cooking their own food and cutting down on eating out, and 37.6% said they spend only a certain amount on each meal. Many say they eat only what they need and save leftovers. As for housing, nearly 66% said they’ve cut back on electricity and water use, and about 16% rent cheaply or share a house.

More than half of the people who took part in the poll said they only buy clothing during sales and promotions, and 40% said they wear old clothes or exchange clothes with friends or family. Some said they buy snow econd-hand clothes.

Slightly more than 60% said they exercise regularly and also take an annual health, but 32% use state welfare or social security entitlements for medical car, and fewer then 30% eat enough of all five essential food groups.

When asked what expenses they can’t avoid 63% mentioned transportation costs like train and bus fares, and half spoke about medical costs. A quarter mentioned their installment payments for houses, cars and credit cards, 21% mentioned children’s tuition fees. Many mentioned what they called “social taxes”… weddings, funerals and religious rites.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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