Some firms vow to keep prices stable, shoulder cost burden

Some firms vow to keep prices stable, shoulder cost burden

Food vendors along Silom Road in Bangkok hiked food prices by 5-10 baht in mid-January because of a surge in product prices. However, many business operators are not planning to increase prices over the next three months.  Somchai Poomlard
Food vendors along Silom Road in Bangkok hiked food prices by 5-10 baht in mid-January because of a surge in product prices. However, many business operators are not planning to increase prices over the next three months.  Somchai Poomlard

Most business operators do not plan to increase the prices of goods and services in the next three months despite rising costs, according to a Bank of Thailand survey.

The survey included responses from 246 small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations during the period Jan 1-21.

The study found 59% of respondents are not planning to increase prices over the next three months, while 29% expect to hike prices by less than 10%, 5% want to increase prices by between 11% and 20%, and 4% plan to raise prices by between 21% and 30%.

In order to shoulder higher costs without raising prices, 34% of respondents said they would use other means such as promotional sales campaigns or lowering product quantity or quality to control costs.

Some 27% said they can bear the cost factor for the next 3-6 months, while 11% can do so for 6-9 months.

Only 27% are able to shoulder the costs for the next 9-12 months.

Most of the business operators who are not planning to raise prices in the next three months are in the service sector, where operating costs are yet to rise much compared with the manufacturing sector.

The respondents who said they intended to raise the prices of goods and services in the next three months are manufacturers of rubber, plastic and food and beverages.

The central bank's survey found respondents believed the business recovery last month was similar to the level of the previous month.

The recovery remains under pressure because of transport factors and fragile purchasing power related to the impact of Covid-19 as well as concerns over the Omicron variant, according to respondents.

Some 34% of respondents had a low level of concern about Omicron, 31% had a medium level of concern, while 27% were highly agitated.

Omicron did not appear to have much effect on businesses' income.

Some 36% of survey respondents said they were able to maintain their existing income in January compared with the previous month, while 27% experienced an income drop of 10%.

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