Thai consumer confidence in May improves for 1st time in 14 months

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BANGKOK, June 3 — Thai consumer confidence improved for the first time in 14 months in May this year as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took control of national administration and has rolled out economic stimulation policies including quick payment for farmers’ long-pledged rice.

Sauwanee Thairungroj, president of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), said the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rose for the first time in 14 months in May this year and stood at 70.7 points.

Consumers see more stability in Thai politics and believed the Thai economy should recover soon as the NCPO approved the payment of Bt90 billion that the government had owed to farmers under the rice-pledging scheme of the previous government.

She noted that the payment increased the amount of money circulating in the Thai economy.

As consumer confidence is growing, Ms Sauwanee said that the economy should grow faster in the second half of this year. She saw a slim chance for the national economy to expand by less than 2% throughout this year.

IIsara Wongkusolkij, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand, said the chamber would try to boost confidence among Thailand’s trading partners in the annual “Get Together with International Friends 2014” event on June 10.

Participants in the gathering will include chairs of foreign chambers of commerce, foreign businesspeople and foreign diplomats in Thailand.

He added that the Thai chamber would try to increase the value of Thai export with food exports, the value of which exceeded 900 billion baht annually and formed 13 per cent of the overall Thai export value.