Commerce Permanent Secretary Yanyong Phuangrach revealed that the consumer confidence index for February 2012 rose to 25.8 from the previous figure of 24.2 in January. The increase was brought on by the constant post-flood revival efforts and the government's budget spending to aid victims of the disaster, as well as agricultural policies, such as crop mortgage programs.
Meanwhile, the consumer spending index has been adjusted upwards to 66.4, as a result of the salary raise and minimum wage hike coming into effect on April 1. The increase in income of farmers due to the government’s measures in monitoring agro-product prices has also contributed to a higher consumer spending rate.
However, the fact that consumer confidence remains below 50 indicates that the majority of the people are still concerned over the domestic economic situation and the hiking fuel price in the global market, both of which have led to higher consumer product prices, contributing to increased expenses.
Consumers have demanded that the public sector monitor and control the situation of fuel and energy prices to prevent adverse effects on consumer product prices, unemployment and minimum wage. Additionally, they wish to see the flood prevention plans materialize, while also asking that an expansionary monetary policy be implemented to aid the people.
The risk factors still remain the hiking global fuel price and the Energy Policy and Planning Office's resolution to increase to one baht in contribution to the Oil Fund from the sale of each litre of fuel, benzene, and gasohol.