The Thailand Industry Sentiment Index (TISI) decreased for the first time in seven months to 92.6 points during the festive month of December last year, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
The indicator fell from 93.5 points in November because of many holidays, a decrease in production capacity as well as a drop in new goods orders.
"There were too many holidays last month, affecting purchase orders. Lower production capacity also affected revenue," said Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chairman of the FTI.
The December TISI was based on a survey of 1,303 enterprises across 45 industries under the FTI. Respondents said a global economic slowdown is their main concern, with votes of 71.5%, followed by higher loan interest rates (48.8%) and the impact of a stronger baht on Thai exports (44.5%).
The FTI is concerned economic contraction, especially in Europe, will affect Thai shipments and economic growth this year.
The World Bank has already warned of a global recession in 2023 after central banks raised interest rates in response to high inflation.
In Thailand, inflation remains high, affecting people's purchasing power, the federation said.
Mr Kriengkrai said entrepreneurs were also worried over higher lending rates this year because banks have to pay the full fee for the Bank of Thailand's Financial Institutions Development Fund of 0.46% of deposits from Jan 1, 2023, up from the previous level of 0.23%.
This is expected to increase financial costs for businesses that are also struggling to deal with expensive power bills.
"The business sector wants the government to jointly set up a panel to solve the high electricity price problem," said Mr Kriengkrai.
In December, tourism recovery was a positive factor stimulating spending during the New Year festival, he said.
The survey also asked interviewees to list what they considered to be decreasing concerns. Global crude oil prices came first, accounting for 54.4% of the vote, followed by domestic politics (40.2%) and the domestic economy (37.7%).