Central bank warns of rising household debt

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BANGKOK, 18 August 2013 The Bank of Thailand (BoT) expresses concerns about the increasing household debt while suggesting the public spend consciously. The central bank will urgently launch a savings campaign to bring the debt level down. 

Thailand’s household debt had been rapidly increasing over the past five years, from 50% to 80% of the GDP or eight trillion baht, said BoT Governor Prasarn Trairatvirakul. Most of the debt was from house, car and consumption loans. The soaring debt had caused the overall consumption to substantially slow down since the public was more careful with their spending, said the governor.

Mr Prasarn assured that the BoT would closely monitor the situation, saying there was still no need for special measures to control the household debt. The central bank had instructed the Financial Consumer Protection Center to campaign for prudent spending and savings. The governor noted that if the household debt rose to 85% of the GDP, Thailand might experience the same economic crisis as the U.S.