Consumer spending in 2013 is expected to be the highest in seven years in the absence of political strife and with expectations of strong economic growth.
According to the latest survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, 2013 spending is estimated to reach 105.82 billion baht, up 15.6% from 2012 spending, which rose just 2.8% from 2011.
Thanavath Phonvichai, an economist at the university, said 2013 spending is expected to exceed 100 billion baht for the first time, which would mark the biggest expansion in seven years of the survey.
He cited the rice pledging scheme, the hike in the daily minimum wage to 300 baht, tax rebates under the first-car programme and easing concerns about US and European financial troubles.
The university's survey of 1,213 respondents found most of them planning to spend on parties, merit-making, goods and travel. Of those travelling, 89% will stay local.
Spending on local travel is estimated at 9,153 baht per person, up from 7,427 baht a year earlier, while spending for outbound touring is seen at 74,321 baht per person, up from 68,958 baht.
Those surveyed remained concerned about the country's economic prospects, the higher cost of living and the political risk with the government vowing to change the charter.