11 July 2024

Consumers’ confidence index for the month of September dropped slightly to 82.3 from August’s 83.2 – the first time in four months mainly due to a drop in the arrivals of Chinese tourists, oil price increase, contraction of prices of farm products and increasing concern over the prospect of an expanded trade war between China and the United States.

Mr Thanawat Pholvichai, vice rector of research and director of the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting of the Thai Chamber of
Commerce University, said Thursday that the drop in the arrivals of Chinese tourists will continue until November and this will impact on tourism-related businesses which rely on Chinese tourists as the main source of their revenues.

For every one baht increase of the price of one litre of diesel, he said that it means 1.5 billion baht would disappear from the system and
this will impact on the prices of rubber and other farm products.

However, he insisted that the economic growth rate for the whole year would be between 4.5-4.6 percent and it would improve in the middle of next year.

But if the trade war between China and the US continues unabated and the global crude price increases further to between 90-100 US dollars per barrel, Thanawat said the government might have to reduce excise tax on diesel in order to maintain the retail price of diesel at 30 baht/litre instead of using the Oil Fund to subsidize the diesel price.