The confidence index of small-and medium-enterprises (SME) in Thailand has risen for the first time since mid-2013 due to the government's policy to support the SME sector, according to TMB Bank's economic analysis centre.

Bencharong Suwannakhiri, Director of TMB Analytics, on October 27 revealed the centre's survey of SMEs’ confidence was conducted in 71 provinces. For the third quarter, the index rose 1.4 points from 36.6 to 38.0, which was the first increase since it began to contract in mid-2013. The improvement was especially apparent for businesses in the Central Region and Greater Bangkok.

However, the index remains well below 50 points, meaning that the SME operators were still not very confident.

The survey respondents attributed their lack of confidence to the lackluster regional economy, which weighed on consumer spending power and spending.

The SMEs also believed that the situation will improve over the next 3 months thanks to an expected economic improvement to be brought about by clearer government policies.-VNA