The KR-ECI increased slightly to 43.7 in May 2019 over the reading of 43.5 reported for April 2019, thanks to 2019 mid-year economic stimuli that directly and indirectly helped ease the high cost of living of Thai households somewhat. In addition, some households were less anxious about debt because they already made installment payments for loans used to pay tuition fees for their children in April 2019.
Meanwhile, the 3-month Expected KR-ECI remained static at 45.7 in May 2019 as some households viewed that they may incur more debt over the next three months (June-August 2019), partly as a result of 2019 mid-year economic stimuli, especially tax measures to promote home ownership that it helps accelerate their decision to apply for home loans by the end of 2019. However, their concern about other aspects of the economy declined.
KResearch views that economic conditions and the cost of living of Thai households will be volatile during 3Q19 because raw food prices are projected to increase as a result of the delay in rainfalls while the persistent sluggishness foreseen in the global economy will likely have a domino effect on businesses and the labor market in Thailand. However, close attention must be paid to economic policies of the new government because they may include urgent economic stimuli that will likely benefit the Thai economy during 2H19.