Thai private sector mulls price increases as economy stalls

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BANGKOK, March 18 – Thailand’s CEO Sentiment Index is heading towards a successive decline during the first four months of this year, according to an academic survey.

The research centre of Dhurakij Pundit University and Krungthep Turakij newspaper jointly  surveyed 402 corporate executives during Feb 25-Mar 8 and found that the CEO sentiment index in March and, April declined by 13 points and five points respectively.

Businessmen are deeply concerned about the country’s rocketing costs on energy, labour and raw materials which have driven up production costs while the appreciating Thai baht has negatively affected exports, reducing the overall volume.

Five major elements which will negatively impact the private sector in the second quarter are the higher costs of transport and energy, labour and raw materials, Thailand’s economic situation and the strengthening Thai currency, according to the survey.

One-third of leading business executives in the non-transport sector said the power rate increase will severely affect their production capital and they have no choice but to adjust the prices of their products.

The higher prices of other resources including diesel, gasoline, natural gas for vehicles and liquefied petroleum gas have also contributed to their concerns regarding higher production costs, the survey found.

Business operators are predicted to have a tough time in the second quarter of this year.