Valentine’s Day to be quietest in 9 years: UTCC

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BANGKOK, Feb 9 – The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has projected that only some Bt3.5 billion would change hands during the upcoming Valentine’s Day, up by only 4.52 per cent from the previous year, the slowest growth rate in 9 years.

Thanavath Phonvichai, head of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University’s Economic and Business Forecasting Centre, attributed the low spending at this year’s Valentine’s Day to public concern about economic uncertainty and the high prices of consumer goods.

He said the public not spend much for this year’s Valentine’s Day, even though though it will fall on the weekend.

The public is still unsure about their spending, while many still see that prices are still too high.

The Valentine’s Day atmosphere for the year will be less lively compared to previous years, he said, citing a survey on spending for this year’s Valentine’s Day.

Dr Thanavath said 61.7 per cent of the surveyed group of random selection said this year’s Valentine’s should be as active as last year, and 20.2 per cent said it should be more active than last year.

However, 52 per cent said the Day of Love would not get any livelier, as the domestic economy has yet to recover, while 41.6 per cent expressed that consumer goods are more expensive and a small, but significant segment — 5.4 per cent —  worried about their safety.

He said the survey also found that 30.8 per cent would choose to buy flowers for their sweethearts and lovers, 30 per cent they would take their significant others out to dinner, and that 19.7 per cent wanted to buy chocolate for their boyfriends or girlfriends.

Dr. Thanavath said the average spending per person on Valentine’s Day is projected at Bt1,901, an increase from last year’s figure of Bt1,813 per person.

He noted that 55.1 per cent of the public would make purchases at the same level of last year, but 20.7 per cent would spend less and 11.4 per cent planned to spend more.