The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) reported on Thursday that consumer confidence hit a record low in May, due to the country’s latest and biggest COVID-19 outbreak so far.
University president Thanavath Phonvichai said the consumer index fell to 44.7 in May, from 46.0 in April, when an outbreak emerged that has accounted for most of Thailand’s overall COVID-19 infections and deaths.
He said a sluggish rollout of vaccines and political uncertainty have also undermined consumer confidence as drivers for an economic recovery. If the outbreak can be controlled this month, the economic impact is estimated at 500 billion to 800 billion baht this year.
Mr. Thanavath said, however, that consumer confidence is expected to pick up over the next six months on the back of optimism about an acceleration in vaccinations and reopening to foreign visitors. (NNT)