Thai consumer confidence spurred by rising optimism over income, stock market: survey

Economy January 09, 2018 15:37

By The Nation

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Consumer confidence in Thailand remained optimistic in the second half of 2017, with a slight increase from the previous six months, according to findings from the “Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence H2 2017”.



The second-half index stood at 65.1 points, against 63.9 in the prior period. 

The index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as the most optimistic, and a score of 40-60 as neutral.

The rising optimism bubbled amongst Thailand’s under-30s demographic, with 69.5 points on the index, while the older generation were slightly more reserved in their outlook towards the future, with 63.5 points.

Regardless of age group, confidence was buoyed by optimism towards regular income (81.9 points, up 1.8), the stock market (67.5 points, +5.8) and quality of life (61.4 points, +3.9). 

These sentiments were bolstered by heightened expectations towards the market’s travel and tourism industry, as well as international recognition of the Kingdom’s travel destinations. 

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the contribution of travel and tourism to gross domestic product is expected to rise by 6.5 per cent per annum to US$169.9 billion (Bt5.48 trillion) – 31.7 per cent of GDP – by 2027. 

Bangkok was also recently ranked as the world’s most-visited destination for a second consecutive year in Mastercard’s latest Global Destination Cities Index.

Thailand’s outlook is also a reflection of overall optimism in Asia Pacific, scoring 68.5 points in Mastercard’s Consumer Confidence Index. 

Fuelled by rising economic growth, increased travel and greater intra-regional economic cooperation, confidence in the region has lifted across both age groups, the company’s survey found. 

Consumers aged above 30 tracked a 6.3-point jump in optimism, while people aged below 30 tracked a 5-point rise. 

These increases are reflected across buoyant consumer sentiment towards the stock market, employment and economic performance.

In October and November last year, 9141 respondents, aged 18 to 64 across eighteen Asia-Pacific markets, were asked by Mastercard to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors: the economy, employment prospects, regular-income prospects, stock market and quality of life.