Jan consumer confidence dips for first time in 5 months

Jan consumer confidence dips for first time in 5 months

FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks shop for street food in Chinatown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Bangkok, Jan 6, 2021. (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks shop for street food in Chinatown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Bangkok, Jan 6, 2021. (Reuters)

Consumer confidence dropped in January for the first time in five months, hurt by a new coronavirus outbreak, a slow economic recovery and the high prices of goods, a survey showed on Thursday.

The consumer index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce fell 3% on a monthly basis to 44.8 in January.

Consumer spending is likely to remain sluggish in the first quarter, with political uncertainty adding to concerns, the university said, following signs of discord growing in the coalition government.

Spending on Valentine's Day for instance is set to drop to a 15-year low of 2 billion baht, university president Thanavath Phonvichai told a briefing.

"Goods are expensive, the outbreak is still there, and political stability is not that good," he said.

But he added the economy could still grow by 3.5% to 4.0% this year on expectations that coronavirus infections will ease by March and high goods prices will be temporary.

Inflation, which hit a nine-month high of 3.23% in January, has yet to impact the country's economic outlook and there is no pressure on the central bank to rush to raise rates, he added.

On Wednesday, the central bank kept its key interest rate at a record low of 0.50% again and ruled out an immediate need to adjust policy. 

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (4)

Elon Musk’s job cuts decimated Twitter team tackling child sexual abuse

Elon Musk has dramatically reduced the size of the Twitter Inc. team devoted to tackling child sexual exploitation on the platform, cutting the global team of experts in half and leaving behind an overwhelmed skeleton crew, people familiar with the matter said.

29 Nov 2022

UK summons China envoy after arrest of BBC journalist

Britain on Tuesday summoned the Chinese ambassador in London for a rebuke after the arrest and alleged assault of a BBC journalist covering Covid protests.

29 Nov 2022

Western allies to help Ukraine brave winter of war

BUCHAREST: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that Russia was using winter as a "weapon of war" against Ukraine, as Western allies meeting in Bucharest planned to help Kyiv mend its ravaged power grid.

29 Nov 2022