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Consumer confidence lowest this year amid political instability

Image courtesy of Focus Asia Travel

Thai consumer confidence has plummeted for the third consecutive month, reaching its lowest point since October of last year, amid worries over a sluggish economic recovery and political instability, according to a survey released yesterday.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) reported that its consumer index dropped to 60.5 in May from 62.1 in April. This decline comes as Thai courts prepare to hear three politically sensitive cases next week, one of which could result in the prime minister’s dismissal, further exacerbating governmental instability in the region.

The university noted that concerns about the economy’s ability to recover swiftly, particularly in light of the current political uncertainty, have contributed to the declining consumer confidence, marking the lowest point this year.

However, the UTCC suggested that confidence could rebound if the government accelerates budget disbursements and implements measures to stimulate economic recovery in the latter half of the year.

The Thai economy posted a growth rate of 1.5% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, a slowdown from the 1.7% growth seen in the previous quarter, placing it behind other countries in the region.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has projected a growth rate of 2.6% for this year, following last year’s 1.9% expansion. Yesterday, the central bank decided to maintain its key interest rate for the third consecutive meeting, despite government pressure to lower borrowing costs to boost economic activity.

The current economic and political landscape is causing significant concern among consumers, and a rapid and decisive response by the Thai government is crucial in helping to restore confidence and support economic recovery.

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The coming week’s court decisions are expected to play a critical role in shaping both political stability and economic performance in Thailand. The outcomes could influence government policies and impact future consumer confidence levels, reported Bangkok Post.

Economy NewsThailand News

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