Thanawat Polwichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said the overall Consumer Confidence
Index rose from 65.5 in February to 67.4 in March.
Thanawat attributed the upturn to four factors: the Cabinet’s approval of economic relief programmes, the unchanged benchmark interest rate of 3 per cent, the increase in the Fiscal Policy Office’s growth prediction to 5.5 per cent from 5 per cent, and the slight appreciation in the baht.
However, he warned of possible negative influences on the horizon, including rising oil prices, the increasing cost of living, imbalance between income and expenditure, the still fragile global economy, and Thailand’s ongoing political uncertainty.
However, he added that he felt the government’s accelerated implementation of fiscal programmes through state spending and an expansionary monetary policy bringing credit growth should help spur confidence in the second quarter.
He said consumer confidence and spending by the public should be restored from the latter part of the second quarter onward, while the economy should grow 5.5 to 6.5 per cent this year.