Friday, July 19, 2019

Big business pushes for stimulus to shore up growth

Jun 13. 2019
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A PROMINENT business lobby is calling on the government to loosen the purse strings in a bid to revive economic growth with the help of increased state spending.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) wants to see stimulus measures shore up growth in the rest of this year, FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said. 

Supant said that, in addition to the expansionary fiscal policies, the government said should seek to accelerate the trade negotiations between Thailand and the European Union, opening up more trade and investment markets for Thai businesses.

The FTI’s calls for government action came as it announced that a gauge of business confidence in Thailand increased from 95 points in April to 95.6 points in May. Improvements in sales, production volumes and revenue, pushed by high consumption levels, were credited for the gain.

The survey found that big construction projects in the public sector have generated increased demand for the construction industry. It also found that sales of home electrical appliances are rising with the summer temperatures remaining high.

However, businesses are still concerned about a slowdown in exports caused by the trade dispute between the US and China, together with an easing in growth in the global economy and the appreciation of the baht. 

Meanwhile, the total production of cars for the domestic and international markets stood at 181,338 in May, marking a 6.11 per cent contraction year on year. Domestic sales came to 88,097 and international sales 95,331, according to Surapong Paisitpatnapong, vice chairman and spokesman of the Automotive Club of the FTI. 

Car output rises

The number of cars produced from January to May this year was 893,067, increasing 2.94 per cent year on year. 

Car sales amounted to 437,722 for the period, a rise of 9.1 per cent year on year.

 Motorcycle sales totalled 169,989 units last month, down 4.4 per cent year on year but increasing by 33.7 per cent month on month. Motorcycle sales from January to May came to 743,443, an increase of 1.6 per cent year on year. 

Exports of cars in May reached 95,331 units, equivalent to 100.9 per cent of the total production for exports. This is a decrease from May last year of 3.58 per cent, with exports to most markets taking a hit.

 Exports to Asean markets, the Middle East, Europe and North America had a total value of Bt48.6 billion, a decrease of 6.33 per cent from May 2018. 

 From January to May, exports of fully assembled cars stood at 462,286 units with a value of Bt233.8 billion, a decrease of 0.94 per cent compared to the same period last year.

 Total exports of engines, parts and spare parts in the first five months of this year came to Bt337.9 billion, a decrease of 5.39 per cent year on year. 


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