6 June 2024

About 40% of Thai people are most concerned about their financial problems, spending, political uncertainty and corruption, according to a survey conducted in 30 countries by Ipsos, a market research company, called “What Worries the World – What Worries Thailand”.

39% of Thais are worried about poverty, inequality and social problems, while 29% are concerned about rising inflation,although the Bank of Thailand has announced that it will try to contain the inflation rate at no higher than 4%. 26% are worried about unemployment, due to the introduction of new technologies to replace humans, such as AI.

25% of Thais are also worried about violent crime.

These top five concerns of the Thai people are revealed in the opinion survey, taken among 6,000 people representing various groups who are over 18 during the past six months, according Usana Chantarklum, managing director of Ipsos Thailand.

The survey also shows that 57% of Thai people feel that the Thai economy is in bad shape. 72% believe that the Thai economy is in recession, compared to 49% of the global population.

The main factors inducing pessimism among Thai people are that they believe the Thai economy is in recession, rising inflation and rising interest rates, which are likely to affect their purchasing power in the second half of the year.

Usana said, however, that people in South Korea are more concerned about a recession than Thais, with 79% of South Koreans believing that their country’s economy is in recession. Japan came third with 63%, followed by 62% in Malaysia and 44% in India.

Due to the negative sentiments over the poor state of the Thai economy, Usana said that Thai consumers have been more cautious about spending on unnecessary items, such as brand-name products, and this impacts the business sector.

When the war in Ukraine broke out in February last year, she said that inflation increased, but not by a great deal. Six months later, however, inflation rose to 6% and then weakened, thanks to tourism recovery. She noted that the expectation that Chinese tourists would flock into Thailand in droves is yet been realised

She also said that 65% of Thais are concerned over utility charges, such as electricity and fuel, which are expected to rise further in the second half of the year. This will drive the price of food up, unless the government steps in to contain the price of utilities.