Businesspeople more confident of situations in Thailand

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BANGKOK, July 24 —  The confidence of surveyed businesspeople in the second quarter of this year improved for the first time in four quarters as they now expect domestic economic recovery.

Krungthai Bank conducted the survey on about 2,300 businesspeople nationwide during April, May and June year and found their confidence index rose from 49.52 in the first quarter of this year to 51.05 in the second quarter. It was the first increase of the confidence index in four quarters.

The survey showed that the businesspeople based their growing confidence on relieved political situations and economic stimulation measures by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) including the local diesel price capped at Bt30 a litre, the extended imposition of the value-added tax rate at 7 per cent for another year, the maintained 20 per cent corporate income tax, support for small- and medium-sized enterprises and the quick formulation of the 2015 national budget.

Businesspeople continue to consider as risk factors pressures concerning labour and political issues from the United States and the European Union, growing inflation and household debts.

Benjarong Suwankiri, the analysis director of TMB Bank, said the promulgation of the interim charter of Thailand presented a clear political structure of the country and boosted foreign investors’ confidence.

TMB maintained its prediction that the Thai economy would expand by 2 per cent this year, he said.

Piyasak Manason, the economic and industrial research head of Kiatnakin Bank, said the acceleration of national reform could support the Thai economic growth in the medium and long terms.

His bank revised its prediction of the Thai economic growth rate for this year upwards from 1.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent, he said.