July 18, 2014 00:00 By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Consumer confidence has increased to the highest level in a year thanks to stabilisation of the political situation and recovery of economic growth, says Amparwon Pichalai, director of the Commerce Ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office.
Based on the office’s survey of 3,381 respondents nationwide, the Consumer Confidence Index rose from 28.5 points in May to 38.4 points in June, the highest figure in 12 months. The baseline is 50, with scores higher than that indicating positive confidence.
"Rising consumer confidence is attributed to the clear economic policy of the National Council for Peace and Order’s packages to bring back happiness to people. Many economic measures have given consumers more confidence that Thailand will have stable politics and stronger growth," Amparwon said.
The sub-index on future aspects also rose to 43.7 points last month from 33.6 in May, and confidence in the current situation reached 30.4 points, up from 21.
However, consumers are still worried about agricultural prices, the cost of living, and household debt, Amparwon said.
Positive factors attributed to rising consumer confidence are the NCPO accelerating payments to rice farmers under the pledging scheme, state budget disbursement, measures to control the cost of living, freezing the price of cooking gas at Bt22.63 per kilogram, and maintaining the central bank’s policy interest rate at 2 per cent per annum.
Asked about prospects for the next three to six months, consumers foresee having higher incomes and spending more on purchasing new cars, other durable goods, and electrical appliances. However, some said they would not spend much money as they need to pay down their debts.