Consumer confidence falls for second month

Consumer confidence falls for second month

The consumer confidence index continued to fall in February due to economic concerns. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
The consumer confidence index continued to fall in February due to economic concerns. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Consumer confidence fell for the second month running in February on concerns over rising oil prices and weak exports, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce reported on Thursday.

Sauwanee Thairungroj, president of the university, said the overall confidence index for February fell to 79.1 from 80.4 in January.

Consumer confidence in the overall economy fell from 69.7 in January to 68.4 in February, the confidence index for job opportunities went down from 74.1 in January to 73.0 in February, and the index for future income dropped from 97.4 in January to 95.8 in February, which was the lowest in five months.

All indexes were lower as consumers were worried about rising retail oil prices, weak exports and cheap prices offered for farm products, she said.

However, if the government speeds up its budgetary disbursement and investment, local consumption could rise, Mrs Sauwanee said.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the university's Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting, said that exports should grow by 1-2% this year, but if the Bank of Thailand cuts its repurchase rate a weaker baht could help improve that figure.

He also said the government's small job creation projects to boost farmers' incomes following the suspension of the second-crop rice season did not attract contractors, and that prevented the money allocated for it being injected into the economic system.

Economic stimulation depended solely on tourism and government investment for the time being, Mr Thanavath said.

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