TISI up on virus protection sales

TISI up on virus protection sales

A woman buys face masks at a stall near Government House on Feb 7. About 20,000 masks were snapped up in half an hour, with a box of 10 costing 25 baht. (File photo)
A woman buys face masks at a stall near Government House on Feb 7. About 20,000 masks were snapped up in half an hour, with a box of 10 costing 25 baht. (File photo)

Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) in January increased slightly to 92.2 points from 91.7 in December, thanks to massive sales of products for the virus protection, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said although the index was up last month it was still below the 100-point benchmark, meaning overall business sentiment was still low.

"The slight increase last month was from the acceleration to produce consumer products after the New Year holiday," he said.

"Also, a rise in PM 2.5 pollution across the country and the virus outbreak caused a massive demand for face masks and hand sanitiser gel."

The Chinese New Year holiday in January also increased demand for food and beverages for the celebration.

"Business operators are still concerned about the delay in the state fiscal budget for 2020, which affects disbursements, state investment and new employment," said Mr Supant.

"The FTI calls for the government to waive the 5% contribution by SMEs and employees to the SSF [Social Security Fund] for six months, in order to reduce their overheads and increase cash in hand for spending."

The law requires SSF contributions from insured employees (5%), their employers (5%) and the government (2.75%).

The FTI expects the TISI will rise to 99.4 over the next three months, still down from  the 100.1  in a previous estimate, on overall business economic sentiment.

"There are many difficulties such as low purchasing power, widespread drought and the virus outbreak that impact the tourism and export sectors," he said.

The FTI's January survey drew on 1,210 companies in 45 industrial sectors.


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