Thai industries confidence at 2-year high as activity recovers

Thai industries confidence at 2-year high as activity recovers

Supant Mongkolsuthree (Photo supplied)
Supant Mongkolsuthree (Photo supplied)

Thailand's industries sentiment in March reached a 25-month high, bolstered by a recovery in economic activity as Covid-19 restrictions were eased, an industries group said on Thursday.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said its industries sentiment index rose to 89.2 in March from a drop to 86.7 in the previous month.

"The overall situation is nearly normal. People are getting back to work and spending more money," FTI Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told a news conference.

However, industries are still worried about the Russia-Ukraine war, which has pushed up the price of energy and materials, he said.

The group is urging the government to further relax travel restrictions to boost the vital tourism sector, which was a key growth engine before the pandemic.

In a separate briefing, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said consumer spending during the upcoming Thai New Year is expected to drop by 5% to about 107 billion baht, due mainly to high living costs.

Excluding 2020, when the government imposed tight Covid-19 curbs during Songkran holidays, spending will be the lowest in 10 years, university president Thanavath Phonvichai said, referring to the festival that takes place from April 13 to 15.

While the government will allow some Songkran celebrations this year, it has banned the infamous street water fights that in a normal year draw thousands of people into the streets.

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