Bt64 bn circulation expected during Euro 2012

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BANGKOK, May 29 — The upcoming UEFA European Football Championship ‘UEFA EURO 2012’ is projected to result in Bt64 billion (over US$2.13 billion) in circulation in Thailand, according to a survey by University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

The UTCC Economic and Business Forecasting Centre surveyed 1,196 respondents on the spending behaviour and the impact of the 14th Euro 2012 football tournament on Thailand’s economy and its society, the centre’s director Thanawat Ponwichai reported on Tuesday.

Dr Thanawat announced that the spending during the Euro 2012 beginning on June 8-July 1 was expected to be some Bt64 billion, up 8.1 per cent from the spending during the FIFA World Cup 2010.

Despite the projected rise in money circulated during the high-profile sports event, spending is unlikely to be robust and lively and will only be able to slightly boost the overall economy, the academic said. He explained that the country’s economy was not fully recovered owing to the higher prices of consumer goods.

However, the Thai economy this year is forecast to expand by 5.9 per cent, Dr Thanawat said. The country’s economic expansion in the next four years would likely to grow between 5-6 per cent based on several key factors, particularly the domestic political atmosphere.

The survey found that some Bt41.7 billion was expected to be spent on football gambling activities, a 63.6 per cent increase compared to the World Cup 2010, while around Bt19.6 billion and Bt2.2 billion would be used for purchasing consumer products and electrical appliances respectively.

Meanwhile, approximately Bt1.2 billion would be spent on other Euro 2012-related activities.

In terms of the economic and social impact, survey respondents viewed that the Euro 2012 would lead to gambling most, followed by gambling-related debts, crimes and gambling debt collection.

Co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, the tournament will promote sport and exercise among Thai youth, strengthen family relationships and stimulate the economy during that period.

Apart from gambling, most respondents were concerned about the reduced efficiency in work and study and accidents related to overconsumption of alcohol during the Euro 2012 football tournament.