GSB: Startups continue bleeding confidence in Q3
Startup entrepreneurs' confidence has continued to fall, dipping to 51.85 for the third quarter because of the faltering economy, cautious consumer spending and intensified competition, according to a Government Savings Bank (GSB) survey.
Expectations for the next three months remained benign in anticipation of the high season for tourism, New Year festivities and the government's economic stimulus measures acting as a boon for the economy.
The Startup Sentiment Index (SSI) dipped to 51.85 for the three months through September from 58.8 for the first quarter and 54.9 for the second, the bank said.
The third-quarter index still exceeded the threshold of 50, which separates optimism from pessimism, indicating startups are confident about the overall economy, said Chatchai Payuhanaveechai, president and chief executive of GSB.
A pocket of risks from both internal and external factors, a recent drought and flooding in many provinces dampened sentiment, he said.
GSB surveyed 500 startup respondents across the country.
According to a breakdown by sector, startups engaged in trading comprised the most pessimistic sector, with the index slipping to 45.77 on a slew of negative factors including drought and floods in several provinces, which affected transport, fierce competition, slower pace of business activities and lower profit as they could not raise prices to catch up with higher costs.
The SSI for the trading sector in the second quarter was 55.51.
On the other end of the scale, the farming sector was the most optimistic in the third quarter.
The SSI for the agricultural sector surged to 56.92 for the third quarter from 51.89 in the preceding three months as many startups adopted technology and integrated farming systems to help them maintain product quality amid natural disasters.
The index for service sector fell to 53.57 in the third quarter from 56.38 in the previous quarter, while the industrial sector dropped to 50.17 from 53.46 over the same period.