Consumer confidence in April 2024 shrank for the second consecutive month.

Bangkok, Economic and Business Forecast Center University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce Revealing that consumer confidence in April 2024 continued to shrink for the second month, reflecting concern over the overall economic situation that is still recovering slowly, along with the cost of living that is still high. and are worried that the wage increase of 400 baht nationwide may cause product prices to increase accordingly. Mr. Thanawat Phonwichai, President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Advisory Chairman of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center revealed that the Forecasting Center has released the results of the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) survey for April 2024 at a level of 62.1 from 63.0 in the previous month. It is a continuous decline for the 2nd month due to consumers Starting to worry again about the economy that is still recovering slowly. In addition, energy prices have increased. especially gasoline and the news of increasing the minimum wage This will dir ectly affect the cost of living. Including increasing interest rates in Thailand and around the world. as well as the Russian-Ukrainian wars with Israel and Hamas. That still has a negative psychological impact on purchasing power, tourism, exports, and employment in the future. while the opinions of the business sector From members of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in every province across the country. By the Thai Chamber of Commerce Confidence Index In April 2024, it improved for the fifth consecutive month at 55.3, but it was a slight increase from the level of 55.2 in March. By confidence it is considered Better than the median value of 50 in every region, including all indicators. including the overall economy, consumption, investment, tourism sector, agricultural sector, industrial sector, trade sector, border trade, service sector, including employment. improved But it was a slight increase of only 0.1-0.3%. However, it is considered that the confidence of entrepreneurs remains stable as there are stil l important negative factors from financial costs. and rising energy costs Including concerns about the amount of water in the dam. For agriculture and consumption That may not be enough. while in the north that are affected by PM 2.5 dust and most importantly, entrepreneurs in every region especially in the south There is concern about increasing the minimum wage. That may affect the already high costs of the service sector to rise even further. Including the cost of producing the product. by the operator There are suggestions to the government sector. Accelerate water management so that there is sufficient use for the agricultural, industrial, and household sectors, including finding solutions to solve problems or remedial measures for entrepreneurs. If there really is a minimum wage as announced by the government And there must be measures to stimulate the economy in parallel. to maintaining the stability of the baht value to be suitable for trade and investment. The private sector sees this year as the e conomy recovering from the COVID situation where it was negative at 6.1%, but it should recover gently. and began to hesitate From the rising costs, including electricity costs, energy prices, and most importantly, the minimum wage increase to 400 baht uniformly throughout the country, which the private sector has come out to propose to increase as appropriate in each province. and by industry according to international principles which if the government sector There has actually been a wage increase as announced. There must be clear remedial measures. Because the money used in this section belongs to the private sector 100%. While consumer confidence which have no outstanding signs of adjustment The main factor will come from energy prices. It has a continuous effect on the cost of living, including news of an increase in the minimum wage of 400 baht as an additional depressing factor. and political stability that is still not stable After the gradual resignation of ministers The important thing is that the economy has not yet recovered. but also believe Consumer confidence from now on will improve from the government's fiscal policy, including investment budgets and national budget spending. Therefore, if money can be put into the economy Within July and August, at least 50,000 million baht per month is an important economic driver. It is an important economic driver. However, the center expects that The economy will show signs of improvement from July. from government money Both procurement The agricultural sector is improving From the rain that started falling Alleviate the drought situation It is expected that the Thai economy this year will grow by 2.6%, which must wait for the digital wallet policy. That will result in the Thai economy improving. Because we still have to wait for clarity. Especially regarding spending money Including the clarity of raising the minimum wage to 400 baht uniformly throughout the country since October. Because it will have an effect on entrepreneurs It will increase the price of goods and services. In addition, from calculations, there are approximately 7 million workers who benefit from the 400 baht wage increase, and the average minimum wage is currently 360 baht. There will be an average monthly increase of 3,600 million baht, totaling in the final quarter. There will be an additional amount of approximately 10,000 million baht, stimulating the economy in the 4th quarter by 0.3-0.4%, but affecting the overall economy for the entire year by only 0.05%. But on the other hand, if entrepreneurs shift the burden to product prices From the assessment it is expected that Product prices will increase by 10-15%, affecting the purchasing power of people throughout the country. Especially the nationwide labor force of 38 million people, not everyone receives this benefit. impact on consumption shrinking It affects the economy more negatively than positively. It is expected to drag down the economy this year. To shrink from what it should be, about 0.1-0.2%, etc. Source: Thai News Agenc y