Economic and political concerns have caused Thailand’s consumer confidence index to hit its lowest in almost 6 years. The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) consumer confidence index fell to 69.1 in November.
Preeda Phothong, a deputy director at UTCC, said the index dropped for the ninth consecutive month.
Despite Prayut’s government rolling out economic stimulus measures, consumers are worried about present and future political situations. They are also concerned about the slow recovery of Thailand’s economy. Also people’s purchasing power as inflation soars. Uncertainties in the global economy were also among consumers’ concerns,” he said.
Especially the baht’s appreciation and also the trade war between China and the United States and Brexit.
UTCC vice president Thanavath Phonvichai said most operators did not see a sign of economic recovery amid slow inflation. Saying the slight increase in employment which do not reflect any strong purchasing power of consumers.
He said basically consumers doubt the economy will recover. If confidence continues to recede, extending its decline to one year, or beyond next February, it could affect overall economic growth in Thailand, he said.
Household Debit in Thailand
As the Thai Baht soars and the economy lags household debt in Thailand has risen to a record high of 340,000 baht per household. According to a poll on household debt, conducted by University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
Thanawat Polvichai, a director at UTCC said the poll was conducted among 1,201 respondents across the country.
The poll shows over 80% were in debt including car loans, housing loans and credit card debt in Thailand.
Household debt in 2019 grew only 7.4% and 79.8 % of respondents got loans from financial institutions.
He said it was very worrying that the record high of household debt resulted from Thailand’s economic slowdown and the soaring Thai baht. The Thai economy is projected to grow 2.5 -2.6% this year. Lower than 3% for the first time in five years.
Household debt in Thailand currently stands at about 78% of GDP.