BANGKOK, 2 May 2012 – Consumer confidence has increased for the fifth consecutive month in April since the flooding last year while the cost of living index in the same month has made a 21-month record high.
Director of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thanawat Polwichai, said the April consumer confidence index stood at 77.6, higher than the March index of 76.6, due to economic recovery after the floods. In addition, the higher confidence was a result of consumers’ hope that the economy and their future income would improve following the government’s stimulus measures, the 300-baht minimum wage hike and public spending during the Songkran long holidays.
Still, the consumers showed concern over the high cost of living following the spiraling of oil and product prices. They were also worried by political instability and global economic volatility.
Mr. Thanawat predicted that the Thai economy would see significant expansion in the second quarter this year and urged the government to expedite rehabilitation and economic stimulus packages in a concrete manner. He suggested that the government make sure that energy prices and the cost of living were appropriate and in line with people’s current income so that this year’s growth could reach 5.5-6.5%.