11 July 2024

Spending by the public during the long Songkran holiday next week is projected to be the lowest in a decade, because consumers are tending to be more careful due to concerns over the price increases of oil and consumer products, according to the forecast by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce ‘s (UTCC) Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting.

The UTCC conducted a survey of the expected spending behaviour during Songkran and discovered from the responses that they plan to spend about half of what they did last year, due to their concerns over the higher cost of living.

The university’s rector, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanavath Phonvichai, today that public spending this Songkran is expected to be about 106 billion baht nationally, about 5.4% less than last year, when public spending was recorded at about 112 billion baht, which was 21.4% lower than in 2019, before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Average individual spending this year is expected to be about 4,779 baht over the almost week-long break, he said.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanawat also said that, because of the high cost of fuel and the COVID-19 pandemic, more Songkran revellers are likely to celebrate in their areas or neighbouring provinces.

The UTCC also projects that economic growth for this year will be between 2.5-4%, thanks to a growth in exports, the possible reclassification of COVID-19 as an endemic disease and the expectation that the strife in Ukraine will gradually ease.

The UTCC predicted that tourism will pick up, after the relaxation of travel restrictions and tourism promotion, adding that, if the government extends the 50:50 co-payment scheme into a fifth phase, about 45 billion baht of additional funds will enter circulation, which will help boost the economy.