Past COVID-19 outbreaks and arrival restrictions caused Thai household debts to keep rising, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting of UTCC found the growing household debts from its survey on 1,350 households sampled nationwide. Most samples earned more than 50,000 baht a month.
Thanavath Phonvichai, chief advisor to the center said the survey found that COVID-19 outbreaks and the consequent country closure in 2020-2021 raised household debts which were already higher than household income also due to the high cost of living. He said that 99.6% of the surveyed households were in debt.
Most debts resulted from personal debts and payments via credit cards for consumer goods and durable goods including vehicles and houses. Loans for business also formed a major cause of household debts, Mr Thanavath said.
The survey found that the debt of each household reached a record high of 501,711 baht on average. The amount grew by 3.7% from 2020. The proportion of formal debts in household debts rose to 78.9%, reflecting that Thai people had assets which thus increased their access to formal lending, Mr Thanavath said.
If the Thai economy recovered quickly and foreign arrivals kept increasing, the problem of Thai household debts would be gradually relieved, he said.
Mr Thanavath allayed concern about non-performing loans, saying financial institutions were freezing interest rates. (TNA)