Survey finds low income earners more frugal than last year

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Bangkok – Thailand’s Economic Research Center at the Government Savings Bank has revealed that low-income earners are tending towards frugal behavior, as overall spending dropped compared to last year.

The survey sampled 2,150 people nationwide with incomes under 15,000 baht per month. Overall, spending among this demographic during the New Year is expected to total 30.2 billion baht, an average of 2,150 baht per person.

Most respondents said they derived this money either from savings or credit. The ratio of those resorting to credit decreased from the previous year while loans were taken from institutions rather than through unofficial means.

The top spending activities are celebrations, with an average cost of 1,100 baht, followed by religious activities at an average of 450 baht, sending money to family members at around 2,000 baht, and purchasing gifts at around 1,300 baht.

The most popular gifts among this demographic include food, fruits, vegetables and desserts, followed by clothing and health drinks. This year, the percentage of gifts in the form of alcoholic drinks decreased from 24.6% last year to 6.1%.

The most popular shopping destinations are malls at 45%, general stores at 35.5%, and convenience stores at 22.5%. The low-income earners are also becoming more interested in purchasing products online, with popular sites being Lazada, Shopee and Facebook.

When asked about their New Year resolutions, popular answers are self-development goals such as saving money, exercising and quitting alcohol and smoking.

When asked what they wished from the government as a New Year gift, the top 3 answers were reducing the cost of living, reducing fuel prices and the holding of a general election.