Director of the centre Thanawat Polvichai (Source: PRD)
 
Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has forecast that up to 45 billion baht in cash flow will be in circulation during the Vegetarian Festival this year. 

Director of the centre Thanawat Polvichai said the latest survey shows that 34 percent of Thai people will eat vegetarian food this year to honor His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and for religious purposes. 

The average spending per person throughout the festival which takes place from October 9 to 17 is estimated to be 10,963 baht, 700 baht higher than last year due to the rising prices of food. 

Despite the 45 billion baht estimate, consumer spending growth is predicted to increase by only 1.9 percent, the lowest growth since the survey was first conducted 11 years ago given the cost of living. 

Thanawat added that consumer spending would likely remain sluggish until the end of the year even though the diesel price has already been pegged at 30 baht per liter. He further expressed the view that the export and tourism sectors will be lively in the last quarter of this year as the high season arrives.-NNT/VNA