By The Nation
Domestic consumption improved in December, judging by car sales and new registration of motorcycles which increased 16.4 per cent and 10.6 per cent respectively, said Kulaya Tantitemit, acting director-general of the ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
Meanwhile, farmers’ real income rose by 12.1 per cent.
These indicators were consistent with a rise in value-added tax revenue of 2.8 per cent from November. Contraction of VAT collection in December also decelerated to -4.4 per cent year on year. However, the surge in virus cases dragged down the consumer confidence index to 50.1 from 52.4 in November.
Private investment also showed signs of recovery as imports of capital goods rose 7.3 per cent year on year. Sales of commercial car sales – trucks and other types of vehicle used by businesses – increased 15.8 per cent year on year, rising for the fourth consecutive month. Cement sales expanded 1.4 per cent year on year or 0.3 per cent from the previous month. However, business tax revenue on property transactions fell 15.9 per cent year on year.
Thai exports expanded 4.7 per cent from the same period last year, the first rise in eight months. Exports to the US rose 15.7 per cent, growing for the seventh months in a row. Exports to Japan and Australia increased 14.9 and 13.5 per cent respectively, while exports to China and India returned to positive territory, rising 7.2 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively.
However, supply-side activity fell from November, with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) dropping 2.4 per cent year on year.
Foreign tourists numbered only 6,556, most of them from Europe. Domestic travellers in December dropped 31.9 per cent year on year, after a 23.4 per cent drop in November.
Economic stability held steady against a public debt-to-GDP ratio of 50.5 per cent at November-end and international reserves of US$258.1 billion at the end of December, Kulaya added.