NESDC casts doubts over domestic consumption rise from digital wallet scheme
National Social and Economic Council (NESDC) is unsure that the digital wallet scheme will boost domestic consumption to the level desired by the government, as the current consumption rate remains high.
According to the NESDC’s second quarter report this year, private sector consumption has increased by up to 7.8% for the first half of this year, fuelling doubts as to by how much more consumption would increase as a result of spending through the digital wallet, although the scheme will help boost the economy and GDP to a certain extent.
According to the report, the total value of exports has dropped over three consecutive quarters by 5.5%, but are expected to pick up slightly in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Production in the farming, forestry and fishery sectors increased by 0.5%, compared to 6.2% during the first quarter of the year, while production in the industrial sector fell by 3.3% since the first quarter, which was in line with export contraction during the first three quarters.
It was noted that the previous Prayut administration secured 500 billion baht in loans to boost the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, but GDP increased by just 1.6%.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said during the Thai Rath Forum 2023, however, that he hopes the digital wallet scheme, if it is implemented on February 2, will promote private investment and employment three months ahead of the scheme, because the private sector will make preparations to increase production to meet the anticipated demand by consumers, fuelled by the digital subsidy.