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Thailand’s December Consumer Confidence touches 15 month High

Thailand’s consumer confidence index rose for a third straight month to 80.2 in December from 79.1 in November, according to data from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Economic & Business Forecasting Center.

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According to the data released last month by the Office of Industrial Economics of Thailand, the Thailand’s industrial production index, which measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines and utilities, rose 83.3 percent in November to 189.11, from a revised 36 percent in October.

Thailand’s consumer confidence index rose for a third straight month to 80.2 in December from 79.1 in November, according to data from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Economic & Business Forecasting Center.

According to the data released last week by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, the country’s CPI, which measures the change in the price of goods and services from the perspective of the consumer, rose 3.63 percent in December from 2.74 percent in November. Analysts were expecting that the CPI, which is a key measure of changes in purchasing trends and inflation, would rise 3.23 percent.

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“Inflationary pressure remained stable close to the previous meeting. Nevertheless, the impact of the second‐round minimum wage increase warranted monitoring.” said Bank of Thailand in its latest press release

 The Center for International Trade Studies (CITS) of University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce forecast that Thailand’s exports are still not looking bright for this year, particularly in main markets such as Japan, the EU, and the US.

CITS Director Aat Pisanwanich said Thai exports in 2013 will expand by 3.1-7.2 per cent.

Risk factors affecting the exports include the fluctuation of the world economy especially in Japan and US, Thailand’s main export destinations, and are tending to continually slow down.

 Dr Aat said Thai exports to the main markets will expand only by 1.5 per cent, while expansion in the EU will expand 3.6 per cent and in Japan at 3.1 per cent respectively.
Other factors include the government’s nationwide Bt300 minimum wage, causing higher production costs and lowering competitive priicing ability, as well as lowering agricultural prices in the world market, and the tendency to strengthen the baht.
The centre director said rice will be the most affected export, for its prices are still higher than other countries, followed by ready-to-wear clothes, which due to higher salaries and a shortage of labour have become issues for entrepreneurs, and the frozen and processed prawn industry.
However, Dr Aat said ASEAN and other Asian countries remain Thailand’s export markets, where export growth is likely to grow 8 and 5 per cent respectively. (MCOT online news)

Yesterday the central bank said its seven-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) unanimously agreed to hold the one-day repurchase rate for the second straight meeting after a surprise quarter-point cut in October.

The Thai economy in the fourth quarter likely expanded more than previously assessed, leading to an upward growth revision for both 2012 and 2013. Private consumption and investment continued to be the key growth drivers supported by consumer and business confidence, favourable household income, full employment as well as accommodative monetary conditions with continued high rates of credit growth.

Exports sector showed incipient signs of a broad‐based recovery while the service sector and tourism expanded robustly. Inflationary pressure remained stable close to the previous meeting. Nevertheless, the impact of the second‐round minimum wage increase warranted monitoring.

 

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