Thais deeper in debt due to gov’t policies: NESDB

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BANGKOK, Nov 26 – Thai households in the third quarter of this year are found to have greater debts and less ability to repay their debt, according to Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

NESDB deputy secretary-general Suwannee Kamman cited statistics from the Bank of Thailand (BoT) that outstanding debts for personal consumption totalled Bt2.74 trillion, up 20.4 per cent year-on-year and also consecutively higher than those in this year’s first and second quarters, partly as a result of household spending stimulated by the government’s ‘first car’ and ‘first home’ schemes.

Personal consumption debts for cars and motorcycles reached the highest figure of 33 per cent, while for other types of consumption at 30 per cent and for loans for buying homes at 10 per cent.

Ms Suwannee said the public’s ability to repay their debts decreased as seen by non-performing loans (NPL) from personal consumption loans which increased 25 per cent, or Bt56 million in value, or counting as 21 per cent of overall NPLs.

Meanwhile, outstanding personal debts whose holders failed to make payments for more than three months increased 37 per cent or Bt7.3 billion, while credit card loans with debts failing to be paid for more than three months grew 11 per cent.

Ms Suwannee concluded from these figures that Thai households’ spending behaviour is worrisome and should be monitored particularly among those low- and middle-income earners who tend to spend their money in response to social values and advertisements.