Thailand: Consumer confidence hits two-year peak hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s consumer confidence in March 2017 climbed for the fourth consecutive month to the highest level in two years, announced the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Economic and Business Forecasting Centre.

The rise was driven by an improvement in exports, tourism and higher price of key commodities like palm oil and rubber, according to Prof. Thanawat Phonvichai, Director of the centre.

However, agricultural product prices remained low, while the global economy is unstable. Phonvichai forecast Thai economic growth this year at 3.6 percent and exports to rise about 2-3 percent, while inflation rate will stay around 1.6-2 percent.

The Thai government recently announced a plan to help small retailers to boost the economy. The Ministry of Commerce on April 11 estimated some 400,000 traditional, retail businesses across the country need support, with big distributors dominating the market.

The new project will connect retail and wholesale communities, said Bangjongjitt Angsusingh, Director–General of the Ministry of Commerce’s Business Development Department.

Under the project, enterprises will be provided with training on business management, storage and stock management as well as shop image development, the director said.

As part of the government’s efforts to reduce living cost, the department has encouraged producers to cut prices of some products under the “Prache Rath: Low Cost of Living” Project.-VNA