Thailand’s consumer confidence lowest in 21 years hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Ashton Hawks)

Bangkok (VNA) –
Thailand’s consumer confidence slumped to a 21-year low in April as the public remained worried about the poor economy, unemployment and future income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) reported on May 8 that the consumer confidence index (CCI) fell to 47.2 last month from 50.3 in March. This was the 14th straight monthly decline and the lowest level since October 1999.

Thanavath Phonvichai, President of the UTCC, said economic conditions are at a critical level and consumer spending is unlikely to recover for at least 3-6 months until the pandemic is under control, all business sectors are allowed to reopen and the government's stimulus measures produce concrete results for the economy.

He said the lower confidence stems from consumers' expectation that the economy will fall into a depression with weakened domestic purchasing power, tourism, exports and employment.

The farm sector remains stunted by drought, while farm prices are still relatively low, Thanavath said.

The university estimates that the pandemic will cause damage of up to 1.5 trillion THB (46.8 billion USD) in the first half of the year, including 700 billion THB in lost tourism revenue, 300 billion THB from lower private consumption and the rest from lower exports and border trade.

The recent easing of measures for certain businesses by the government is estimated to result in up to 3 billion THB in added spending per day, Thanavath said.

Starting on May 3, the government allowed outdoor markets, barbershops and pet groomers to start reopening after new daily coronavirus cases dropped into the single digits.

The curfew and a ban on alcohol sales will remain until the end of May.

Thanavath said that if the government goes through with further easing on May 17, an additional 6-8 billion THB in daily spending is expected./.