Nearly 11 billion baht is expected to be circulated during Thailand’s Loi Krathong festival, 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 at 5.6 per cent higher year-on-year, worth Bt10.87 billion due to rising commodity prices.
He said each Loy Krathong festival-goer is likely to spend an average of Bt1,539. About Bt7 billion will be circulated upcountry, while the rest is being spent in Bangkok and its adjacent provinces.
Dr Thanawat said the the celebrations in provinces this year remain lively, but the atmosphere will be different in the capital due to the economic slowdown, political demonstrations and the mourning period for the late Supreme Patriarch.
The most concerning issue for Thai consumers , Dr Thanawat said, is the rising cost of commodities, adding that economic factors have more impact on consumer spending than politics.
Dr Thanawat said the country’s economy will grow between 3.3-3.5 per cent despite the heated political situation during the year-end period, and five per cent for next year as the global economy begins to recover.
He said although the political problems prolong until next year, the economic growth will continue to grow more than five per cent. A change of government, such as the resignation of the prime minister, or political tensions, are being monitored.
It is believed that the Pheu Thai Party will lead the government even if the premier resigns or the House is dissolved and a new general election is held.