Thailand faces first consumer confidence dip in eight months

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A recent survey has revealed a decline in Thailand’s consumer confidence for the first time in eight months. This dip in March is attributed to a sluggish economic recovery and escalating living expenses.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), which conducted the survey, reported a decrease in the consumer index to 63.0 in March, down from 63.8 in the preceding month. The university substantiated these findings in an official statement.

“The economy is recovering slower than expected while living costs are rising, which is affecting consumer confidence.

“Moreover, the outbreak of the third wave of Covid-19 has also impacted consumer sentiment.”

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The survey also presented some specific concerns of consumers. The cost of living was the primary concern, with 71.1% of respondents indicating this as a problem. The slow economic recovery was a worry for 69.7%, followed by 68.2% who cited job insecurity as a concern.

A significant 67.8% of respondents were worried about political instability, while 66.6% were concerned about the country’s economic situation. A further 65.3% expressed concerns over the global economic situation.

The university also disclosed that the consumer expectation index, which forecasts consumer sentiment six months into the future, fell to 78.5 in March from 79.2 in February, reported Bangkok Post.

These findings underscore the intertwined challenges of economic recovery, rising living costs, and the ongoing pandemic, which are collectively impacting consumer confidence in Thailand.

In related news, January saw a significant rise in consumer confidence, reaching the highest level in 47 months due to the ongoing economic recovery, according to a statement by Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Director-General Pornchai Thiraveja.

The consumer confidence index marked its sixth consecutive month of growth, reaching 62.9, a slight increase from 62.0 in December. This growth is indicative of improved domestic consumption, as passenger car sales experienced a year-on-year rise of 2.4% and a month-on-month increase of 9.4% after adjusting for seasonal effects.

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Alex Morgan

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