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The Consumer Confidence Index in December rose to 46.2, up from 44.9 in November, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce president, Thanawat Phonwichai, reported on Thursday.
This was the fourth consecutive month of improvement and the highest level in nine months since April 2021, as consumers tended to worry less about the Covid-19 situation in Thailand, he said.
However, the number of daily infections is likely to increase due to the Omicron strain after the New Year holidays, but the daily death toll in the country has begun to decline, Thanawat said.
The agency will monitor how the number of coronavirus cases in the first quarter of 2022 will affect consumer confidence and economic recovery, he said.
The Overall Economic Confidence Index was 40.1, the Confidence Index for Job Opportunities 42.7 and the Confidence Index on Future Income 55.7, he said.
There were positive factors that affected the confidence index, such as a Cabinet meeting which approved seven economic stimulus measures, the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) move to keep the policy rate at 0.50 per cent, the MPC revising its GDP 2021 forecast to 0.9 from 0.7 per cent previously, and expecting GDP in 2022 and 2023 to expand.
Other positive factors were the global Covid-19 situation, which improved due to vaccinations while the number of cases in Thailand declined, November 2021 exports expanding 24.7 per cent and the price of many agricultural crops improving.
The negative factors included new concerns over the pandemic, including the novel Omicron variant which caused the Test & Go scheme to be suspended, consumer worries over a slowing economy, a higher cost of living, rising domestic oil prices and political instability.
The Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates that in 2022 the economy will grow around 4 per cent, with 2.5-3 per cent growth in the first half and 5-5.5 per cent in the second half.
Full-year inflation is expected to be 1.5 per cent, with 2-2.5 per cent in the first half and 1-1.5 per cent in the second half.
Published : January 13, 2022
By : THE NATION