The household economic index fell to 41.9 points last month, below the 50-point threshold for a third consecutive month, a sign that people could remain prudent in spending and the economic slowdown could spill over into the second quarter.
The disappointing reading was attributed to households’ concern over the rising prices, in line with the rise in inflation, while high household debts continue to limit their spending, said Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research), a research unit of Kasikornbank.
Inflation accelerated to a 12-month high in April, with prices for fresh fruit and vegetables rising after a drought-induced drop in production. The consumer price index based on 450 items rose by 2.45% year-on-year last month, up from 2.11% in March, 1.96% in February and 1.93% in January.
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