Thailand’s consumer confidence improves for 1st time in 7 months

A busy Tamarind Market in early October 2021.

(Xinhua) — Thailand’s consumer confidence index rose to 41.4 in September, moving up for the first time in seven months, as easing COVID-19 restrictions led to improving consumption and tourism activities, a survey showed Thursday.

The reading climbed from 39.6 recorded in August, according to Thanawat Polwichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Thanawat attributed the increase to the easing of restriction measures at the beginning of last month as the government tried to support the struggling economy.

The improvement in the country’s COVID-19 situation, the government’s stimulus measures and the implementation of tourism reopening pilot schemes on the islands of Phuket and Samui also helped bolster consumer confidence, he said.

He added that the index would have been much stronger if having not been weighed by concerns over floods and rapid increase in oil prices.

Thanawat said that if the country’s COVID-19 situation continues to improve while vaccination rate keeps rising, consumers’ confidence would continue to pick up in the coming months.

The UTCC expected the country’s economy to expand by 1 to 1.5 percent this year if there is no further wave of COVID-19 infection surge.