November Consumer Confidence Index falls to 10-year low: UTCC


BANGKOK, Dec 8 – Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) fell in November to a 10-year low due to flooding in the country’s central provinces and Bangkok and concerns over the global economy related to the euro-zone’s debt crisis, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) Economic and Business Forecasting Center.

The Consumer Confidence Index in all categories last month dropped for a fourth consecutive month, dragging November’s CCI index to 10-year low of 71, down from 72.4 in the previous month.

Centre Director Thanawat Polvichai said that although flooding has eased, people remain concerned over the higher cost of living, so they are more careful in spending.

He said less travel is expected during the New Year period, and that hesitation in purchasing condominiums or houses is possible. Sluggish expenditures are likely to continue into the first quarter of next year.

The government should expedite its budget spending, loan offerings by financial institutions and paying insurance costs to the business sector, he advised, while saying that the main risk factors for the Thai economy in 2012 are implanting the government’s post-flood rehabilitation policies, the world economy, and Thai domestic politics.

However, Thai economic growth in 2012 is projected at 4-5 per cent, higher than this year, which is projected 1.5-2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Pornsil Patchrintanakul, vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, conceded that the private sector is worried about possible delays in disbursement of the post-flood rehabilitation budget and is not confident about the government’s flood prevention plans.

Thai Chamber of Commerce proposed to the government to set a date to meet foreign investors to clarify its plan on responding to floods in the future and the spending budget to revive the Thai economy, he said.