Consumer confidence down in August
The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) dropped in August to 79.3, from 80.3 in July, amid worries about the domestic and global economic slowdown.
- Published: 13/09/2013 at 04:30 PM
- Newspaper section: news
The monthly index is based on interviews with 2,246 people in Bangkok and other provinces by the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.
The centre reported on Friday that confidence in the overall economy went down in August to 69.5 points, from 70.6. Confidence in job opportunities dropped to 71.6 points from 72.4, and confidence in future income dropped to 96.7 points from 97.9.
All three consumer confidence indices were down for the fifth straight month. Any reading below 100 points indicates consumers are still worried.
The centre attributed the decline in consumer confidence to the lower-than-expected 2.8% annualised growth figure for the second quarter reported by the National Economic and Social Development Board.
Thailand is experiencing a mild technical recession because it has reported two consecutive quarters of economic contraction from the previous quarter.
The state planning agency also slashed its growth projection for 2013 to a range between 3.8% and 4.3%, from the previous forecast of 4.2% to 5.2%. It said the revision reflected the slow recovery in the global economy, delays in the government's infrastructure development projects and ongoing political conflicts that could affect the economy.
In addition, the low prices of agricultural products, particularly rubber and palm oil, have led to farmers' protests by farmers that affected the economies of several provinces and caused concern among consumers.
The US$1.76-billion trade deficit reported in July and the steep 9% drop in the SET index in August were other negative factors that eroded consumers' confidence.
While official inflation is at a 45-month low below 2%, many consumers perceive the cost of living to still be high. They point to the recent increases in LPG prices, electricity charges and expressway tolls.
Ongoing global economic sluggishness, political uncertainty and southern violence were also reasons behind the decline in consumer confidence.
Positive factors were the central bank's decision to keep its policy rate unchanged at 2.50%, the decline in domestic retail prices of fuel, and the weakening baht which would help exports.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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