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11 Apr 2022

Thai Economy

KR-ECI declined in March as households were still concerned about rising product costs

  • The protracted Russia and Ukraine conflict has substantially driven up energy and commodity prices because the two countries are major producers and exporters of these products. Rising product costs, therefore, caused the KR-ECI for March to decline to 33.4, against the 33.9 reported for February while the 3-month Expected KR-ECI remained at a low level of 36.1, versus the 36.0 percent recorded for February.    
  •  Another survey conducted by KResearch on domestic employment shows that the labor market has yet to fully recover. Although the unemployment rate fell slightly in March 2022, many companies continued to cut overtime and delay in recruiting new employees at a high rate, suggesting that household income has yet to return to normalcy. Amid rising product costs, the government’s measures aimed at easing the high cost of living remain necessary. When households were asked about the kind of relief measures that should be implemented by the government, a majority of households (39.2 percent) wanted the government to freeze prices of necessities while 23.9 percent of households wanted the government to introduce the fifth phase of the co-payment program because the fourth phase is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2022.  
  • Looking ahead, there is high uncertainty foreseen in economic and living conditions of households amid persistent increases in product costs as the government will not stabilize retail diesel fuel prices after the end of April 2022 while LPG and power costs are set to increase steadily. Additionally, businesses may increasingly pass on costs to consumers. There will be increased risks from COVID-19 because the number of daily cases at home has begun to exceed 25,000 (excluding ATK). Close attention must be paid to whether the number of daily infections will increase to about 50,000 – 100,000 as projected by the Ministry of Public Health, or not.

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Thai Economy