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Thailand's October consumer confidence at 5-month high over reopening

Thailand's October consumer confidence at 5-month high over reopening

FILE PHOTO: People visit shopping center to celebrate New Year Eve during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand December 31, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

BANGKOK: Thai consumer confidence rose for a second straight month in October, hitting a five-month high, thanks to an easing of coronavirus curbs and a wider reopening of the country's troubled tourism sector, a survey showed on Thursday (Nov 4).

The Southeast Asian country has reopened to more vaccinated foreign visitors without quarantine requirements from this month after more than a year of tight border controls.

The consumer index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce rose to 43.9 in October from 41.4 in September, when containment measures were relaxed to help domestic activity.

"Consumers had some hope that the economy would recover in future," university president Thanavath Phonvichai told a briefing.

Sentiment was also lifted by government stimulus measures amid weak consumption, he said, adding the government would need to inject at least 500 billion baht (US$15 billion) next year to get economic growth of more than 4 per cent.

This year, the economy might grow by 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent, with an expected contraction of 3 per cent to 4per cent in the third quarter due to the curbs, Thanavath said. Last year, the economy shrank 6.1 per cent.

A separate survey by the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) showed its investor confidence index in October rising by 18.2 per cent to a record high of 168.69.

The index, which projects confidence in the market over the next three months, moved to the "very bullish" zone, with tourism revival seen as the most supportive factor, the FETCO said in a statement.

Source: Reuters/gs

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