Thais fear post-flood economy to worsen: Survey

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BANGKOK, Nov 11 – A recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) released on Friday found that more than half of those polled fear that the Thai economy will deteriorate in the aftermath of the country’s worst flooding.

The NIDA survey on Thailand’s direction and post-flood assistance was conducted last week, Nov 3-5, with 1,288 respondents nationwide aged over 15.

Slightly more than half — 51.63 per cent — said they believe the economy will decline, while 41 per cent think that political stability will remain intact with about one quarter — 26 per cent — believe otherwise.

The most pressing issue after the flood recedes, the respondents said, will be inflation – especially the rising prices of consumer products — followed by unemployment, a shortage of goods, and a lack of funds to make a living.

Among the priorities the government should implement after the flood eases, the respondents said, are rehabilitation of infrastructure and restoration of the environment as the top priority, followed by compensation for flood victims, new job placements for the unemployed, and spirit-boosting measures for the flood-stricken residents.

The government’s Flood Relief Operations Centre (FROC) reported, as of Thursday, that nationwide flooding has claimed 533 lives and that two persons remain missing.

Twenty-four provinces in the North, Northeast, and Central region, including Bangkok, remain under floodwater with about 2.8 million people affected, while 11 million rai of farmland and 260 roads are damaged.