Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in January rose for the second consecutive month after the situation returned to normal following the flood crisis last year, said Yanyong Puangrach, Permanent Secretary for Commerce.Today he announced the results of the CCI survey for January, conducted among 3,024 people from all walks of life.
The survey found that all indices, including consumer confidence indices on the current and future situation as well as index on future income, rose for the second consecutive month in January, Mr Yanyong said.The increasing indices were attributed to the rise in start-up salaries for civil servants, the government’s rehabilitation measures for flood victims and consumer spending during the Chinese New Year.
The Consumer Confidence Index in January stood at 24.2, higher than the 21.2 listed in the previous month. However, as the index is still lower than 50, it indicates that the public are still concerned over the local economy–in particular the cost of living, oil prices and the volatile global economy.Meanwhile, those surveyed urged the government to control prices of consumer goods and the cost of living to ensure that they are in line with current income.
They also wanted the government to speed up tackling rising energy prices, unemployment problem and minimum wages. Respondents also urged the government to build confidence among investors, lay out systematic water management plans to prevent possible massive flood this year and speed up the country’s post-flood rehabilitation.
Infrastructure services, if quickly improved, could promote a better investment climate in Thailand
Economists and analysts forecast gloomier times, predicting Thailand’s GDP to contract by 0-3 percent while the country descends into a deflationary spiral. Moody’s Economy.com says Thailand could be the Asian economy that suffers the most from the global financial crisis. Plus the spectre of further political unrest remains on the horizon. However, there are some signs that Thailand can ride out the economic firestorm. Government debt-to-GDP remains below average regionally speaking, the financial sector learnt from the 1997 meltdown and remains relatively well capitalised and liquid, and Board of Investment privileges are some of the best in Southeast Asia.