Thailand’s retail sector unlikely to recover until mid-2023

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Thai Retailers Association (TRA) has expected Thailand’s retail market to contract by 12% this year if the government does not accelerate the provision of financial aid measures to operators as well as offer domestic consumption stimulus.

Association vice-president Chatrchai Toungratanaphan said up to 270 billion baht in retail sales could be lost from May to August because of the fresh Covid-19 outbreaks. Retailers are still finding it hard to secure new loans from financial institutions, with only 10% of 30,000 applicants receiving approval.

He said retail sentiment index stood at 16.4 in July, the lowest in 16 months, because of the fast and furious spread of the Delta strain, and the association expects sentiment in the next three months will remain relatively low, at about 27.6.

Mr Chatrchai said Thailand’s retail sector may take longer than expected to recover to a normal level and recovery is likely by the middle of 2023. The association is calling for urgent government assistance measures, including a 50% co-payment subsidy on rental fees and employees’ wages for at least six months as well as a 50% utility bill reduction for six months.

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