Consumer spending for the Chinese New Year holiday is expected to reach its highest level since 2006, driven by higher wages, recovering tourism and a better overall economy.
A vendor prepares cooked poultry for sale in Yaowarat, Bangkok. Meat and fruit are offered to gods to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which begins on Sunday. THANARAK KHOONTON
According to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), spending over the Chinese New Year period should surge by 12.3% to 45 billion baht.
The survey polled 1,200 people nationwide from Jan 29 to Feb 1.
Vice-president Thanavath Phonvichai said the biggest spending will occur in Bangkok and the South, where tourism has fully recovered and income is rising thanks to the new daily minimum wage of 300 baht.
Most of the spending is slated for merit-making in addition to consumer goods.
Despite higher anticipated spending during the festive season, the survey said consumers remain wary of higher goods prices.
Some consumers said most of their savings during the period will go to pay for cars they bought under the first-time buyer scheme.
The survey also said some people who bought cars under the scheme were worried about honouring their payment contracts.