Consumer confidence drops for the first time in five months because political instability

Consumer confidence drop for the first time in five months because of rising political tension, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) said on Thursday.

The consumer confidence index has been increasing for four consecutive months from 47.2 index points in April to 51 in August due to the reopening of businesses after the nationwide lockdown in May.

However, for the past three months, student protests have put pressure on the Prayut Chan-ocha government and has dampened sentiment from the business community.

Thanavath Phonvichai, UTCC’s president, said the consumer confidence index dropped to 50.2 in September, the first drop in four months as consumers are concerns over political stability. 

The unexpected resignation of former finance minister, Predee Daochai, who resigned from his post after less than a month in office has also contributed to lower confidence.

As for the overall consumers’ confidence in the economy, the economic confidence index has also dropped from 43.6 in August to 42.9 in September.

Thais also feel less confident about finding a job with sentiment dropping from 49.1 to 48.2 on the employment index.

The Bank of Thailand’s decision to maintain the country’s benchmark lending rate at a historic low of 0.5 per cent and its new and slightly improved GDP forecast from a recession of 8.1 per cent to 7.8 per cent will help consumer sentiment somewhat.

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