The FINANCIAL — Thailand’s consumer sentiment continued to weaken in August, falling to a 15-month low after a series of negative domestic developments shook confidence, the latest survey showed, according to Nasdaq.
The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce’s monthly report released on September 3 showed the Thai consumer confidence index fell to 72.3 in August, compared with 73.4 in July. It was last below this level in May 2014, when it fell to 70.7.
The bombing attacks in Bangkok last month, which killed 20 people and injured hundreds of others, and the recent downward revision of the country’s growth forecast were among factors that contributed to the weakening of consumer confidence, according to the 2,200 respondents surveyed in the poll.
The government economic planning agency last month revised Thailand’s 2015 GDP growth estimate to a range of 2.7% and 3.2%, from 3.0% to 4.0% previously.
Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the university’s Economic and Business Forecasting Center, said the 4.6% contraction in exports during the first seven months of this year, low agricultural prices, the high cost of living and uncertainties surrounding the global economy have also damped consumer sentiment.
However, the outlook for the remainder of this year remains somewhat positive.
“We see the cabinet reshuffle and the proposed fiscal stimulus package as important positive developments,” said Charnon Boonnuch, an economist at Bangkok-based TISCO Economic Strategy Unit.
The junta-installed government recently introduced a new economic team, with economist and former minister Somkid Jatusripitak taking over the lead from former central bank governor Pridiyathorn Devakula.
Under the government’s reshuffled economic team, a new economic stimulus package worth over 130 billion baht ($3.6 billion), aimed at low-income households, was promptly introduced and received approval from the cabinet this week.
Mr. Thanavath said he expects signs of economic improvement to emerge this month.