Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in May increased to 75.5 for the first time since February, a University survey found, a rise of 0.5 from the previous month.
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The Thai Chamber of Commerce Center for Economic and Business Forecasting surveyed 2,222 respondents nationwide at the end of May when the country’s political turmoil began to ease.
All consumer confidence indices on Thailand’s future have improved, but the political turmoil impacted tourism, while drought affected farm outputs and living conditions, lowering the CCI on the current situation for the fourth consecutive month.
Thanawat Polwichai, the center’s director said overall poll results indicated that consumer confidence, which has improved, indicated the expectations of the public. It also depends on implementation of the national reconciliation plan. If the attempt fails and politics lacks stability, consumer confidence will drop.
Demand from businesses have increased rapidly over the years in Thailand
Recent crashes in Thailand’s GDP and export markets, plus the drop in tourism fuelled by recession and last year’s domestic political turmoil, have dispelled illusions that the country is insulated from the effects of the global downturn. Numerous indicators of economic health are hitting the red, foreign investment is evaporating, unemployment is surging, and credit lines are freezing up. Thailand’s government still says there is a possibility of positive growth this year, despite facing a rougher ride than in the 1997 Asian financial crisis as conditions infest the real economy on a broader scale.
Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand.
Logistic costs, for example, are reported by firms to be higher for them in 2007 compared to 2004. This is particularly true for industries that are located in regions other than Bangkok and vicinity or the East where the major markets and ports are located. They include the food processing and furniture industries. A partial explanation for the higher logistic cost was the sharp rise in diesel prices from 2004 to 2007.