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Lunar New Year spending set to rise


Most Chinese in Thailand plan to celebrate the upcoming festive season with a larger budget compared to last year despite cautious economic outlook, according to the annual United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) Lunar New Year Survey.

Like last year, their top spending priorities are red packets, shopping and family reunion dinners.
 Overall, they intend to spend an average of Bt37,400 each to usher in the Year of Monkey, more than double from last year’s budget of Bt17,400. The increase can be attributed to more respondents planning to travel, with one in three respondents planning to go away during the festive period, as compared with 27 per cent last year. The majority of respondents who planned to travel this year, totalling  one in five of all respondents, will do so domestically.
The budget for shopping doubled owing to the increase in purchase of clothes and electronic appliances. The budget for red packets nearly doubled this year from last year.
Despite the higher overall budget, respondents remain cautious about 2016’s economic outlook. Almost 45 per cent of the survey respondents said they thought Thailand’s economic situation will remain the same as in 2015, while 34 per cent expected the economy to get better. One in five respondents expected the economy to decline this year.
This year, family members, friends and colleagues can look forward to fuller red packets. On average, each will give parents Bt5,300 in red packets this year, two times higher that of 2015’s average of Bt1,700. Friends and colleagues will receive Bt1,200 in red packets this year, two times higher that of 2015’s average of Bt400.
Similar to last year, there continues to be a focus on being prudent in 2016. Among those receiving red packets, nearly three out of four respondents said they will save the money while one in three respondents said they will invest it. Less than half of the respondents said they will spend it and 14 per cent said they will use the money to pay off debts. 16 per cent of the respondents said they will donate the money to charity and 10 per cent said they will give the money to other family members.
 
 

Published : February 01, 2016

By : The Nation