Public’s spending on New Year’s gifts unaffected by political combat

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BANGKOK, Dec 16 – Thai consumers have turned out in higher than expected numbers at the 14th Thailand Baby & Kids Best Buy 2013 expo as the political heat has somewhat cooled.

Thai Gifts, Premiums & Decorative Association president Sirichai Lertsirimit said Monday that the cooling political temperatures have had a positive effect on shopping, as the country is now amid discussions on finding the means to end domestic political conflicts that have put Thai people in the mood to shop for New Year’s gifts. Previous cancellations of trade fairs due to the recent anti-government rallies are credited with putting the public in the mood to go out more.

For this year, Mr Sirichai said, shoppers are likely to buy multi-functional gifts as well as eco-friendly and chemical-free gifts rather than regular souvenirs. He said the fair being held from Thursday through Sunday is expected to bring in some Bt400 million in revenues.

Mr Sirichai also said the gifts, premiums and decor market expanded 4 per cent this year, at a total value of around one billion baht. Sales improved in the latter half of 2013 following recovering exports to the US, Europe and Japan. The market is expected to improve up to 5-10 per cent, with total value of Bt15 billion next year.

NCC Exhibition Organiser Group project manager Bussaya Prakobthong, meanwhile, reported there have been some postponements of events due to political demonstrations in the capital. Organisers have clarified to international customers that the situation is under control and provided them updates from the government.

The economic impact caused by the political demonstrations so far is minor. The Thai public is still out shopping for New Year gifts as the current political rallies are non-violent and the Thai people continue to be fun loving and love to offer gifts to each other during the New Year festival.