Lunar New Year spending seen at 11-year low - survey

Lunar New Year spending seen at 11-year low - survey

A shopkeeper arranges Lunar New Year-themed decorations se she waits for customers in the southern Thai province of Narathiwat on Thursday. (AFP photo)
A shopkeeper arranges Lunar New Year-themed decorations se she waits for customers in the southern Thai province of Narathiwat on Thursday. (AFP photo)

Consumer spending over the Lunar New Year could drop for a third straight year to an 11-year low of about 40 billion baht due to the sluggish economy hit by a new coronavirus outbreak, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTTC) said on Thursday.

The estimated spending compares with about 45 billion baht last year, Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the UTTC, told a briefing.

"The main reason is higher prices of goods as people felt their incomes were lower and the economy had not recovered that much," he said, citing a consumer spending survey.

The Lunar New Year celebrations normally signal a jump in spending by many Thais and visiting tourists from China and other parts of Asia.

The economy may grow 3.5% to 4.5% this year, after estimated growth of 1.0%-1.5% last year, Mr Thanavath said. 

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