January Consumer Confidence Index rises for 2nd consecutive month: UTCC

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BANGKOK, Feb 9 – Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) edged up in January for the second consecutive month, according to a survey by the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Wachira Khuntaweetep, an academic at the centre, announced on Thursday that the CCI on the overall economy in January increased to 64 from 63.1 in the previous month while the Consumer Confidence Indices on job opportunities and future income rose to 65.4 and 93.1 from 64.2 and 92.1 respectively in December.

The growth in indices in all categories was due to the recovery from the late 2011 flood crisis which had returned to normal as well as to the government’s post-flood economic rehabilitation measures, which were expected to drive the country’s overall economy in 2012 to expand by 4.5-5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Thanawat Ponwichai, centre’s director, added that risk factors for the economy included lower confidence in political situations, followed by consumers’ concern about the high cost of living due to rising energy prices.

As the consumer confidence index in January did not rise significantly, Mr Thanawat said, explaining it reflected the unstable economic recovery.

However, the overall Thai economy was projected to improve in the second quarter or the second half of this year owing to the Bt300 daily minimum wage hike.

The centre viewed that Thai economy this year is likely to grow 4.5-5 per cent. The 7-per cent growth targeted by the government is possible thanks to the satisfactory growth of the global economy and exports.

If the government can implement good policies and manage energy policies effectively, the economy in the second half of this year is likely to grow 6-8 per cent.

Currently, the fund flow can be seen in the robust Thai stock market.