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11 May 2021

Thai Economy

April KR-ECI Declined as the Latest Wave of COVID-19 Dealt a Blow to Household Purchasing Power while Relief Measures Were Yet to be Implemented

The latest wave of COVID-19, which began in April, caused the April KR-ECI to plunge to 37.0 from the 40.4 reported in March. Household purchasing power was significantly weakened by the severe impact of COVID-19 while relief measures were yet to be implemented amid surging energy costs. All KR-ECI components declined, in particular on income and employment, plus household expenses (excluding debt). Increased concerns over such matters were consistent with the Consumer Price Index that hit a record high in eight years. Such concerns could further undermine household purchasing power over the near term....Read more

27 Apr 2021

International Economy

CLMV Countries May Enjoy Varying Benefits from Solid Global Economic Recovery (Current Issue No.3213)

It is projected that the global economy will record a solid recovery in post-pandemic 2021 as reflected by the International Monetary Fund’s decision to revise upward its 2021 growth forecast for the global economy to 6.0 percent from the prior estimate of 5.5 percent; the recovery will be led by large economies, particularly the US and China. This may in turn help boost CLMV economies that are heavily dependent on exports. However, benefits from bright prospects seen in the global economy to CLMV’s economic developments may vary depending on the degree of their connectivity to the global economy through various channels, such as exports, repatriations made by their workers, foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourism. Country-specific factors may determine their economic directions, as well. ...Read more

26 Apr 2021

International Economy

Fed expected to maintain policy rate of 0.0-0.25 percent at its meeting on April 27-28, 2021 (Current Issue No.3927)

KResearch projects that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will maintain its policy rate within the range of 0.0-0.25 percent at its meeting on April 27-28, 2021. While the US economy has shown signs of recovery following expedited vaccination efforts, with business activities able to return to normal amid the consistent release of stimulus packages, the labor market will likely need much more time to achieve full recovery per the Fed’s target. Overall, more than 17.4 million people have applied for unemployment benefits. While the COVID-19 situation has somewhat eased in the US, the risk of new outbreaks remains. Many countries continue to experience new outbreaks as well as the emergence of newer COVID-19 variants. Taking into account the fragile labor market and existing risk factors, the Fed is expected to maintain quantitative easing (QE) measures to support the US economic recovery....Read more



7 May 2021


Post-COVID Supply Chain Realignment and Change in Global Investment Flows: Thailand Projected to Benefit USD1.1-1.4 Billion from Increasing FDI in Existing Industries (Current Issue No.3218)

A new paradigm in global investment flows is being seen as the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered massive supply chain adjustments. Realizing the fragility of global supply chains and the intensifying trade and technology war between the US and China, multi-national companies have begun to diversify risks from China. Reshoring or the practice of moving the production and manufacturing of innovative products back to the company’s original country, and diversification or the process of building a new production base or supply chain for mainstream products in order to diversify risks in case of emergency are emerging as global trends post-pandemic....Read more

29 Apr 2021


2021 Domestic Car Sales to Shrink 1.5% due to COVID-19, but Higher Exports to Boost Car Production to at least 1.8 Million Units (Current Issue No.3215)

Although the government did not announce lockdown restrictions to cope with the latest wave of COVID-19, the highest number of daily infections since the start of the pandemic here has not only triggered concern among Thai consumers about their future income, but also affected overall domestic consumption. The car market is a sector that has been hurt by the pandemic because cars are perceived as luxury goods and having long-term expense obligations. Aside from COVID-19, another factor that may significantly pressure car sales in 2Q21 is the fact that several car makers have experienced shortages of electronic chips and this may cause them to delay the production of some models. ...Read more

26 Apr 2021


Third COVID-19 wave inhibits growth in domestic spending on food and beverages, likely to rise 0.5% in 2021 if crisis is resolved within 3 months (Current Issue No.3212)

The impact of the third COVID-19 wave is set to hinder consumer spending on food and beverages for 2021. As a result, businesses in this sector will continue to face difficulties in raising sales throughout the year. KResearch assessed that under a base-case scenario which sees the outbreak contained within the next three months (with the number of new cases similar to that of the final week of March 2021 – prior to the start of the third outbreak, or an average of fewer than 100 cases/day), wherein vaccine rollouts go according to the plan and additional stimulus packages are issued over the remainder of this year, domestic spending on food and beverages may amount to THB 2.48 trillion, or growth of 0.5 percent. ...Read more



30 Apr 2021

Financial Markets

The Baht strengthened while the SET faced sell-offs at the end of the week

The Baht hit a 1-month high of THB31.135/USD after breaking the THB31.20/USD level later in the week. The Baht rose along with net foreign bond buying orders, while the US dollar face sell-offs on the back of the Fed’s easing monetary policy stance. The latest FOMC meeting signaled that the Fed would keep its easy money policy and may not be ready to taper its QE measure because the COVID-19 situation remained uncertain and could dampen the US economic outlook. ...Read more

23 Apr 2021

Financial Markets

The Baht weakened while the SET dropped towards the end of the week on concerns about COVID-19

The Baht hit the weakest level in a week at THB31.44/USD amid concerns about the third wave of COVID-19 at home, with the number of daily cases rising at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, the US dollar rose as a safe-haven currency later in the week after the US President Joe Biden proposed a plan to hike tax rates. The US dollar also gained on a better-than-expected US jobless claims report, signaling a recovery in the US labor market. ...Read more

22 Apr 2021

Financial Institutions

Consolidated financial statements of 9 banks in 1Q21 show a boost in net profit from reduced expenses and provisions (Current Issue No.3924)

KResearch has compiled major financial data from the consolidated financial statements of nine commercial banks and their subsidiaries for 1Q21. The latest data reveals that these commercial banks and their subsidiaries recorded a net profit of Baht 46.071 billion, or growth of 47.4 percent QoQ, compared to 4Q20 which recorded a net profit of Baht 31.259 billion. The increase could be attributed mainly to reduced loan loss provision and operating expenses. Meanwhile, the income from core businesses of these commercial banks has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, on account of Thailand’s economic conditions, which remain subject to pressures from the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak. ...Read more