December consumer confidence rises for fifth straight month

December consumer confidence rises for fifth straight month

A man takes a picture of a giant polar bear display at the EmQuartier shopping mall packed with Christmas and New Year revellers in November 2017. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
A man takes a picture of a giant polar bear display at the EmQuartier shopping mall packed with Christmas and New Year revellers in November 2017. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Thailand's consumer confidence rose for a fifth straight month in December, lifted by a brighter economic outlook but low commodity prices were still a worry, a private survey showed on Thursday.

The index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce rose to 79.2 in December from 78.0 in November. 

Consumers were confident about future economic recovery on growth in exports and tourism, the university said in a statement. 

Government stimulus in the second half of the year also boosted sentiment and consumers were less worried about the political situation. 

However, they were still concerned about low agriculture prices, the university said. Private consumption accounts for half of Southeast Asia's second-largest economy but it has been constrained by high household debt, which is nearly 80% of gross domestic product. 

However, third-quarter growth beat expectations, growing 4.3% on the year and 1.0% on the quarter, thanks to robust exports and tourism. 

The National Economic and Social Development Board, which compiles GDP data, has forecast GDP growth of 3.9% and 3.6-4.6% for 2017 and 2018, respectively. 

Official 2017 GDP data is due to be released on Feb 19. In 2016, the economy expanded 3.2%, less than regional peers. 


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