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Trending upwards, but consumer confidence in Thailand still at a 22 year low



PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A leading academic says that despite an upward trend, consumer confidence in Thailand still sits at a 22 year low as a result of the economic impact of Covid-19. Thanavath Phonvichai from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, says the pandemic’s devastating effects on tourism, employment, and exports, is mostly to blame, coupled with concerns over the ongoing political unrest.

Consumer confidence has improved somewhat in the last month, as a result of stimulus measures from the government and the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, including the re-opening of bars and nightclubs. The move has slightly boosted confidence in jobs, revenue and the overall economic outlook, but the current political strife is still proving to be a cause for concern. And, despite rising to over 50 points from just over 49 in June, the figure is still the lowest seen in 22 years.

22 years ago Thailand was just starting to recover from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, known in Thailand as the Tom Yam Kung crisis. The Thai baht collapsed after the Thai government was forced to float the baht due to low foreign currency inflows to support its currency, at the time pegged to the US dollar. Capital started flowing out of the country almost immediately, beginning an international chain reaction. At the time, Thailand had acquired a burden of foreign debt that made the country effectively bankrupt even before the collapse of its currency. Most of Southeast Asia and Japan became engulfed with financial contagion and slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and a precipitous rise in private debt.

Thailand has entered into the current financial crisis in much better shape.

While some entertainment businesses have re-opened, others remain shuttered, with the ongoing closure of international borders having a significant impact on tourist hot spots such as Pattaya and Phuket.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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  1. Perceville Smithers

    Monday, August 10, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Can’t imagine any entertainment businesses being open now. I’ve seen them on slow nights during low and high seasons so it’s hard to see it now.

  2. rinky stingpiece

    Monday, August 10, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Is alcohol still banned? Restaurants banned? Female company banned?
    At least there might be fewer jetski operators, but I guess the numbers of lottery ticket sellers has spiked.

  3. Working man

    Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Yesterday the deputy governor for international marketing at TAT, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya said that it is very unlikely that the borders will re-open this year, and possibly not even before the Chinese New Year (article also in this newspaper). Should this be the case, than consumer confidence will plummet. According to the World Bank, under the current regime the number of people living in poverty has risen by 2 million to 6.7 million people. Now with an estimate additional unemployment of 8.4 million just by this pandemic and the government’s response, this figure will likely rise to over 15 million people living in poverty. Even the domestic tourism will come to a halt. Future is bleaker than it has ever been.

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