Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in February lowest in 12 years

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Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) last month hit the lowest in the past 12 years, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) Economic and Business Forecast Centre.

Centre director Thanavath Phonvichai said the ongoing political stalemate dragged the CCI in February in the 11th month to its lowest at 69.9 from 71.5 in January. Other confidence indices in all categories also dropped, he said.

The confidence index on the overall economy stood at 59.7, down from 61.4 in January, while the index on job opportunities reached 63.6, down from 65.1 in January, the lowest in 27 months. The index on future income stood at 86.3, the lowest in 57 months and down from 88.1 in January.

According to Mr Thanavath, the indices are worrisome, for they have hit the lowest record since the CCI has been monitored by the centre.

The reasons behind such lower figures were, he said, the political confusion, overdue rice payments to farmers from the pledging scheme, lower purchasing power, public concerns on economic direction and future income.

The centre director said the Thai economy is entering a recession period, as the economic figure has been negative for two quarters. It also tends to slow down until at least the end of Q2, he said, which still has to await to see the political clarity.

Should politics continue unstable, there is a chance the Thai economy would grow less than 3 per cent this year.

The Commerce Economic and Business Forecast Centre will readjust the country’s 2014 economic growth on March 20.