Budget bill delay lowers consumer confidence


BANGKOK – Concerns regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak and the delay of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget bill, are the main factors causing a fall in consumer confidence, according to UTCC survey, making the January 2020 index hit 69-month low.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) President Thanawat Polvichai has revealed that the January 2020 consumer confidence index released by the university’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) was 67.3, showing 11 consecutive months of recession.

The CEBF’s evaluation shows concerns about the outbreak of novel coronavirus are affecting the people’s livelihood, business operations, and the national economy, especially in the tourism sector; while the delay in passing the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget bill may affect planned disbursement schedules, which would inhibit new investment projects from effectively stimulating the economy.

The forecasting center expects that concerns over the noval coronavirus will continue to lessen consumer confidence. The center is however retaining a national economic growth projection of 2.8 percent, despite many challenges such as the coronavirus outbreak, global economic slowdown, and the government budget delay.

The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee today decided to further adjust the policy interest rate downwards by 0.25 percent, meaning the current policy rate has now dropped to 1 percent annually due to the prospect of lower than expected economic growth this year.