New high for Thai Consumer Confidence Index

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Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index arrived at a new high for 13 months in August as the index rose for the fourth month in a row thanks to stabilized politics, but with a proviso — the Thai economy has yet to recover significantly, according the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Thanavath Phonvichai, UTCC Economic and Business Forecasting Centre director, told the press that the index rose to 80.1 in August and was at its highest level in 13 months since August last year.

All other consumer confidence indexes rose as well, as the public believes in stable Thai politics, he said.

However, he noted that the Thai economy remained unpromising as farm product prices and Thai export growth remained low.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicts that the Thai export growth rate should be 1-1.5 per cent this year instead of 1.2-2 per cent as earlier anticipated. Delayed government disbursements continue to limit consumer confidence, Mr Thanavath said.

“Therefore, the government must clearly stimulate the economy to create an atmosphere of confidence and also speed up allocating budgets to local areas,” Dr Thanavath said.

He also advised the government to end martial law in provinces that are tourist destinations to boost the national economy in the fourth quarter this year.