BANGKOK-Despite the easing of restrictions imposed on businesses to help control COVID-19, which allows them to operate more freely again, there are still many businesses that lack income, causing many entrepreneurs to lack confidence in the economy. They would like the government to ease the restrictions on tourism, and help the business sector to resume its normal activities as soon as possible.
The consumer confidence index fell to 31.3 in May as the indicators of all factors such as consumption, investment, tourism, the agricultural sector, industrial sector, trade, services, border trade and employment, dropped in all regions especially the southern region where the confidence of entrepreneurs is at its lowest level of only 28.4, as tourism has been hit heavily and rubber and palm oil planters have also experienced a price slump.
Mr Thanavath Phonvichai, President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of Advisory Board of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, said today that entrepreneurs’ confidence could decline further because the business sector is still unable to operate fully despite the fourth phase of measures to ease restrictions that were imposed earlier to control COVID-19. The business sector would like the government to accelerate the easing of restrictions on tourism, relax soft loan conditions to help enterprises ease their liquidity problems, and consider reopening more border checkpoints to encourage the full recovery of the economy.
Without such moves, and if the relief and stimulus measures are not tangible by July, Thailand could see a recession of 8.8 percent in 2020, he added. (NNT)