Thai household economy improves but remains fragile for rest of the year
Thailand’s household economy has improved but will remain fragile for the rest of the year, due to a combination of flooding, rising energy prices and uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic, although Economic Condition Index (ECI) for September has improved from August, according to the Kasikorn Research Center’s ECI report.
Thailand’s ECI for September is 36.6, compared to 33.0 in August, thanks to the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions, such as malls and eateries being allowed to resume limited operations.
The September index is, however, low compared to last year, as many households were worried about increased spending on energy, public utilities and debt.
The research centre also conducted an additional study on the government’s tourism promotion program during the fourth quarter of the year, following the procurement of more vaccines and increased inoculations which, according to the latest report, have covered 53% of the Thai population with their first dose and 35.4% their second.
The study shows 30.7% of households in Bangkok expressed a wish to travel, particularly in December.
Although the government’s latest announcement, regarding the opening of Thailand to foreign travellers who are fully-inoculated and from ten low-risk countries without quarantine, will be a boon for the domestic tourism industry, the study warns that the household economic situation for the rest of the year remains fragile due to the risks posed flooding, oil prices and uncertainty over whether the pandemic can be kept under control with the easing of most restrictions.
The study, however, urged the government to boost confidence in all sectors of society by clearly outlining the precautionary measures to be implemented to cope with the prospect of COVID-19 resurgence after the reopening of the country.