BANGKOK, Nov 22 – This year’s Loy Krathong festival spending is expected to be livelier than last year, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC)’s Economic and Business Forecasting Center.
Center director Thanawat Polvichai said that spending is forecast 20 per cent higher year-on-year was because last year’s festival coincided with the country’s flood crisis.
Public spending this year is predicted to reach Bt10.3 billion in circulation on average with each person spending about Bt1,500.
Nearly two-thirds of the public –about 62 per cent– said they will participate in Loy Krathong activities, falling on Nov 28, while 35 per cent said they will not.
Dr Thanawat said the threat of the anti-government rally of the Pitak Siam group on Saturday has led to concerns among the public, who see the continuing protest causing less public involvement and spending during the festival.
The Economic and Business Forecasting Center indicated that if the protest continued through Wednesday, public spending would be less than Bt10 billion, but if it ends on the weekend, money circulated during the festival would be Bt10.7 billion.
Reduced exports, meanwhile, mean that the Thai economy will grow only 5-5.2 per cent this year, down the previous prediction of 5.4 per cent, causing the economy to grow only 4 per cent in the third quarter.