Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Economic woes cut into Valentine, Magha Puja spending

Feb 06. 2020
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By THE NATION

Well over half of the 1,234 people surveyed recently about Valentine’s Day spending said they’ll ignore the annual day of romance this year because the economy and environment are so bad.

Thanawat Polwichai, rector of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and an adviser to the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting, said 57.1 per cent of those polled are going to pretend that February 14 is just another day on the calendar.

They cited the economic slowdown, the higher price of goods and health concerns over the coronavirus outbreak and PM2.5 dust pollution.

But those who do plan to buy Valentine gifts for loved ones will be spending Bt1,814 on average, for an estimated total of Bt3.246 million, Thanawat said.

That’s a 1.23-per-cent negative growth from last year and the second decrease in two consecutive years.

Another survey question found that 65.5 per cent of respondents plan to make merit on Sunday (February 9), which is Magha Puja Day, commemorating the Buddha’s historic meeting with his first 1,250 disciples.

“But these people have decided to observe the day close to home to save expenses,” Thanawat said. “We estimate that Bt2.6 million will be spent that day, 2.5 per cent less than last year.”

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