Thai Consumer Confidence Falls to a 7-Month Low over Slow Growth and Political Uncertainty

Thai consumer confidence reached its lowest point in seven months in May, marking a third consecutive monthly decline as worries about a sluggish economic rebound and political instability persist, as shown by a recent survey.

According to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the consumer index dropped to 60.5 in May from 62.1 in April, reflecting the prevalent concerns among consumers. The upcoming politically charged cases scheduled to be heard by Thai courts next week, including one that could potentially lead to the removal of the prime minister, have heightened apprehensions about further government turmoil in the nation.

The survey revealed that consumers lack confidence in the swift recovery of the economy, particularly amidst the prevailing uncertain political climate. Nevertheless, the university suggested that consumer sentiment could see an uplift if the government accelerates budget disbursements and implements measures to stimulate economic growth in the latter half of the year.

Notably, Thailand’s economic growth slowed down to 1.5% in the first quarter compared to the prior quarter’s 1.7% expansion, trailing behind its regional counterparts. The central bank has forecasted a 2.6% growth for this year, following a 1.9% increase in the previous year.