Asia: Thailand’s consumer sentiment in question after the King’s funeral

As the year-long mourning period of the late King Bhumibol comes to end, many have questions regarding the economic outlook of Thailand for the last two months of the year.

There are mixed views – Amonthep Chawla, Head of Research at CIMB Thai Bank, said that a decline in income indicators for both the farm and non-farm sectors could dent purchasing power and consumer sentiment for the remaining period of the year. However, Charl Kengchon, Managing Director of Kasikorn Research Center, expects business activities and marketing campaigns to pick up together for the holiday season.

Restrictions were put in place on entertainment and television for one month from mid-October to mid-November last year, as consumer expenditure and tourism were stifled during the county’s grieving of the passing of the world’s longest-reigning monarch. However, even with no restrictions in place currently, there are still concerns and uncertainties amongst Thais for the final quarter’s economic outlook, as many analysts are asking if last year’s subdued growth after the late King’s passing in October will repeat itself.

According to RFi Group data, when consumers were asked how concerned they were about Thailand’s economic outlook, 54% of them were concerned about it. With slightly more than the half of the market being concerned, all eyes are on the tourism industry’s performance, to see if the year-end celebrations do indeed rev up consumer spending.

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