Somkiat Anuras, vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber’s Business Confidence Index was only 42, while the Economic Confidence Index stood at a very low 22.8. Scores above 50 indicate positive confidence.
He cited the aforementioned factors for the lack of confidence, along with continuing low agricultural prices that resulted in a drop in farm incomes and more debt. According to a recent survey of five chambers of commerce around the country, 43.7 per cent of business operators reported a drop in sales and 34.8 per cent reported no change.
Most of the business operators said their costs remained unchanged, while 45.6 per cent had higher costs.
The survey of the Central region chamber found business operators there had the highest confidence, with the confidence index at 54.2. Just over 47 per cent of operators had higher sales |and said they were more competitive.
The South’s Economic Confidence Index was the highest, with business operators reporting an improvement in public and private investment and the strong expansion of |the tourism industry. Almost |47 per cent of business operators said tourism had improved and rubber prices were likely to rise.
Based on the survey findings, the government has been advised to collaborate more with the private sector and inject more money into the grass-rooted economy in a bid to prevent a worsening of the economic slowdown.
Business operators also urged the government to take control of product prices and factors affecting production, promote public investment through stimulus measures and improve infrastructure in each region with equality.
The Thai economy is expected to improve in the latter half of this year, subject to global economic factors.