April’s Consumer Confidence Hits Lowest in 21 Years

A man checks his documents at a government complaint center for 5,000-baht cash relief handouts in Bangkok on May 7, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — A Thai academic unit said Friday that Thailand’s consumer confidence index in April was the lowest in nearly 22 year hit by impacts from COVID-19 and the already sluggish economy.

The index in April was at 47.2, the lowest in 21 years and 7 months since October 1998, said Thanawat Phonvichai, an expert with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Consumers were concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impacts on the Thai economy including unemployment, he said.

Thanawat said that the index fell in all categories.

“The Thai economy has entered its technical recession. It will contract for three quarters consecutively and will grow 1-2 percent in the fourth quarter thanks to the restart of businesses and the government’s economic rehabilitation and stimulation measures estimated at 400 billion baht (12.4 billion U.S. dollars),” he said.

“Money will only begin to enter into the economic system in early August,” said Thanawat, “Moreover, the Thai economy in 2020 will decline slower at 3.5 to-5.5 percent instead of 8.8 percent as earlier anticipated.”

The economic expert however said that the Thai economy will pick up noticeably approximately in the second quarter of 2021.