The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting and The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), revealed yesterday, May 6th, that the consumer confidence index in April has dropped to 46.0 from 48.5 in March, significantly dented by the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
Moreover, the overall economic confidence also fell to 40.3 from 42.5 as well as the job confidence index which is now at 42.9 from 45.3, and the future income confidence which drops to 54.7 from 57.7, UTTC President Thanavath Phonvichai told the press. This is, according to the researchers, a record low.
The explanation for the plummet of several confidence indexes was, according to the President, that consumers feel that the economy has not yet potentially recovered and it may remain on a downward trend until the number of new infections decreases and more vaccinations are distributed in a larger group of people.
Thanavath stated: “Recent regulations and recommendations to curb the Covid-19 pandemic in Bangkok and its vicinity, such as refraining from leaving the house, prohibiting all dine-in services, changing operation time of shopping malls, closures of all entertainment and leisure venues and tourist attractions tremendously impact domestic tourism. Changing quarantine for all foreign visitors back to fourteen days, even for those vaccinated, also had a major impact.”
“The weakening political stability and delay in vaccination also impact customer’s confidence, thinking that the domestic economy in Thailand is not going to resolve anytime soon despite multiple government economic stimulus campaigns.”
The university estimated an economic loss of 400-600 billion baht if the outbreak continues beyond this month, adding that the government should rush to implement new and potential relief measures to help revive the economy.
“It all depends how will the government implement measures to prevent and resolve the situation, including how many provinces will be in a lockdown, how intense the measures will be, and how quickly will the vaccine allocation be? Some of the provinces in “deep red” under strict measures are enormous to the economy, especially Bangkok and Chonburi, home of Pattaya. All of these will undoubtedly affect customer confidence and the recovery of the Thai economy in the future, which may be able to expand by 0.0-1.5% this year,” the President concluded.
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