BANGKOK (NNT) – Concerns linked to the new wave of COVID-19 infections has weighed on both daily life and business, resulting in the first drop in the Consumer Confidence Index in 3 months.
Consumer confidence in December 2020 was measured at 50.1 points, down from 52.4 the previous month. Economic confidence was also down to 43.5 from 45.6 points.
Employment confidence dropped from 50 points to 47.5 and confidence in future revenue prospects retracted from 61.6 to 59.2. The downtrend was seen across the board in all regions of the country and in all instances was attributed to the new bout of COVID-19 infections.
President of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thanawat Polwichai surmised that if the situation persists for more than three months, the economy will grow in only a 0.9 to 2.8 range with a worst-case scenario being a contraction of 0.3 percent.
He said government economic stimulus is needed pointing to the co-pay scheme, while mentioning that if the situation improves in three months, recovery could be seen as soon as Quarter 2.
The president said a private sector suggestion to widen eligibility for the co-pay scheme and increase its cap from 3,500 to 5,000 baht per person would spur circulation, projecting the state needs to inject 200 to 300 billion baht into the economy to keep it afloat, or 400 to 600 billion baht to trigger growth.
He said further loans by the state are not yet needed, especially if economic stimulus can be pulled off soon as to trigger tax payments.
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Reporter : Praphorn Praphornkul
Rewriter : Rodney McNeil
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