July Consumer Confidence Index hits record high in 64 months: UTCC

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BANGKOK, Aug 11 – Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in July rose to 84.1 from 81.7 in the previous month, marking the third consecutive month on the rise and its highest level in 64 months, according to a survey by the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

The CCI rise was attributed to hopes among Thai consumers that the new government will have policies to stimulate economic growth, Center Director Thanawat Polvichai said.

Particularly, the confidence index relates to anticipated rising personal incomes in the future, having risen to 102.8, passing 100 as most consumers believe that their incomes will not drop in the future.

Meanwhile, the public remained concerned over the rising cost of living, increasing oil prices, and uncertainties regarding the global economic recovery, particularly in the United States and Europe, Dr Thanawat added.

Dependent upon no domestic political turmoil occuring, spending and investment are projected to recover in the fourth quarter of 2011, pushing the country’s 2011 overall economy to expand by 4-5 per cent.

In addition, Dr Thanawat said the centre is continuing its monitoring of the CCI in August to see the public reaction to the new 35-member cabinet, and fluctuations in the global economy, including the United States and Europe.

Meanwhile, Pongsak Assakul, deputy chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the organisation is ready to work with the new government, and gave his assessment that the new economic ministers have the capability to properly steer the Thai economy.

Corruption and social disparity are key and urgent problems to be solved, Mr Pongsak said. The government should improve Thailand’s competitiveness and respond to fluctuations of the global economy in the short term. It should also brace for a worldwide economic recession, possible volatile capital inflows and outflows, as well as ensuring the stability of the baht.