Thai consumer confidence rose for a second straight month in July, reaching a five-month high, boosted by improved economic activity following an easing of pandemic-era curbs, but high cost of living remained a concern.
The consumer index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) increased to 42.4 in July from 41.6 in the previous month.
University President Thanavath Phonvichai told a briefing that consumer spending is likely to gradually improve later this year as the economy gains more steam, helped by increased exports and a recovery in the vital tourism sector.
He also said the economy is expected to grow 3.0% to 3.5% this year, with exports seen up 6% to 8% and foreign tourist arrivals expected at 8-10 million.
There were nearly 40 million foreign tourists in 2019 before the pandemic.
Thanavath said the central bank’s first interest rate hike in nearly four years on Wednesday should not have a big impact on the economy, as commercial banks will not rush to raise their interest rates.
He added the Bank of Thailand (BOT) is expected to raise the key rate by a quarter point at each of the two remaining meetings this year, taking the rate to 1.25%.(NNT)