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12 Jan 2022

Thai Economy

KR-ECI declines for the third consecutive month in December 2021 due to concerns over rising cost of living


•    For December 2021, KR-ECI continues to reflect concerns over the rising cost of living, particularly prices of food and beverages. During the recent New Year holiday, households were still worried about increasing expenses. As a result, December’s KR-ECI dropped to 33.9 percent from 34.7 percent in November 2021 (based on a survey conducted at the end of December 2021, and excluding the impact the rapidly rising number of Omicron cases on economic activity).
•    In the forthcoming period, prices of goods will tend to increase, owing to higher costs of raw materials – following recent spikes in energy prices and specific issues for certain products like pork prices. Meanwhile, the Omicron situation remains fraught with uncertainty. A climbing COVID-19 infection rate will likely pose more risk to reopening efforts, Thailand’s economic activity which has just regained its footing, and purchasing power that has yet to fully recover. For these reasons, the economic conditions and livelihood of Thai households continue to be fragile. Government measures that concern easing of expenses such as maintaining the prices of necessities would thus remain essential.
•    KResearch conducted an additional survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on employment to assess the extent of part-time/second job Thai households took on in 2021. Findings revealed that 28 percent of households that were severely affected by COVID-19 have taken on part-time jobs – a majority of which involve selling products online. Meanwhile, more than half of those surveyed are interested in having a part-time job but have yet to start one. These results indicate that COVID-19 is still affecting the labor market, and the possibility exists that more households will pursue part-time work in the future, in response to increased demand for income and as risk prevention due to uncertainty surrounding employment.

Thai Economy