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Economy

Thais are tightening their belts and spending less – survey

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thais are tightening their belts and spending less – survey | The Thaiger

“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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Economy

The fourth Chim Shop Chai stimulus rolls out for New Year

The Thaiger & The Nation

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The fourth Chim Shop Chai stimulus rolls out for New Year | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The state-run Krung Thai Bank is rolling out another economic stimulus program for New Year. It will include an 800,000 baht Toyota sedan and gold necklaces for subscribers to the latest Chip Shop Chai (Eat-Spend-Shop) scheme who Thais spend through their g-wallet accounts.

Lawan Saengsanit, the Fiscal Policy Office director and spokesman for the Finance Ministry, says the gifts, valued at 12 million baht, include a Toyota Altis, three Toyota Hilux pickup trucks, sixteen motorcycles, eighty gold necklaces of 15g each, over 549 gold necklaces of 7.5g each and thirty two 55-inch TV sets.

For every 1,000 baht of accumulated spending subscribers can win the prizes through six lucky draws, to be held at the Finance Ministry and the Krung Thai Bank.

But the spokesperson is urging subscribers to spend through their e-wallet accounts so that they are eligible to enter the draw for the prizes, adding that they can also benefit from refunds amounting to 20% of their spending.

During the first three Chim Shop Chai initiatives, from September 27-December 10, a total of 11.78 million Thais subscribed and their total spending amounted to 21.5 billion baht, including 9.9 billion baht spent through e-wallet accounts by about 320,000 subscribers.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Economy

Forecasts are in negative territory for south east and wider Asia

The Thaiger

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Forecasts are in negative territory for south east and wider Asia | The Thaiger

PHOTO: asiahouse.org

The Asian Development Bank has trimmed its forecasts for economic growth in developing Asia this year and next as growth in the People’s Republic of China and India are weighed down by both external and domestic factors.

Closer to home, south east Asia’s growth projections have also been revised down slightly to 4.4% for 2019. Economic woes of Thailand and Singapore, two of the region’s largest economies, have prompted downward adjustments to their growth forecasts, for the rest of this year and next.

In a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook 2019 Update released three months ago, the ADB now expects GDP in the region to expand 5.2% in both 2019 and 2020, just a tad down from the September forecast of 5.4% growth this year and 5.5% next year.

Thailand’s economy expanded by only 2.5% in the first nine months of 2019 as growth moderated for private consumption and for public consumption and investment. Weaker trade also dragged on growth, with export declines in both agriculture and manufacturing. Imports also went backwards in line with weaker domestic demand.

Growth forecasts for East Asia are downgraded to 5.4% in 2019 and 5.2% in 2020 as the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea endure continuing trade tensions and slowing domestic investment. The same in Hong Kong where political unrest is an added factor.

Growth projections for South Asia are lowered to 5.1% in 2019 and 6.1% in 2020. Growth in India is expected to slow to 5.1% in 2019. Also, consumption in India affected by slow job growth and rural distress aggravated by poor harvest. Policy support will help growth recover to 6.5% in 2020.

On the up side, growth could accelerate around the region if the US and the PRC can sort out an agreement on trade, the report says.

Hong Kong is already in technical recession and is predicted to see severe downward pressures persist possibly into 2020. The economy is now expected to contract 1.2% this year and grow only 0.3% next year.

In south east Asia, many countries are seeing continued export declines and weaker investment, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for Singapore and Thailand. GDP growth is expected to slow in the Pacific with activity in Fiji, the subregion’s second largest economy after Papua New Guinea, expected to be more subdued than previously anticipated.

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Economy

Thai economy not desperate, just a bit slow – Finance Minister

May Taylor

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Thai economy not desperate, just a bit slow – Finance Minister | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

Thailand’s Finance Minister says the economy is not in a critical situation, it’s just on a bit of a “go-slow” right now. Uttama Savanayana adds that he’s hopeful the situation will improve next year with the go-ahead on a number of large national infrastructure projects.

Thai PBS World reports that the minister references the Government’s stimulus efforts this year, in particular the hugely successful Chim Shop Chai campaign to encourage more domestic tourism and spending, along with the 50,000 baht down payment incentive for condominium buyers, designed to help boost the property sector.

Uttama disputes the assertion from various experts that the country’s economy is facing a crisis in 2020, insisting that such big initiatives must be continued in order to bolster public confidence and in turn the economy. He also mentioned the Government’s excellent financial position in comparison with many other international economies.

He adds that the Government has already put pressure on around 50 state organisations to make progress with various investment projects in order to being forward a further boost to the economy. The organisations are understood to have a combined investment budget of around 100 million baht for state projects already approved.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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