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13 Jan 2020

Thai Economy

Chinese Year of the Rat 2020: Bangkok Residents to Spend THB13.15 Billion with Focus Placed on Necessities (Current Issue No.3070)

            We at KResearch expect that spending by Bangkok residents will reach approximately THB13.15 billion, shrinking 3.0 percent YoY, during the upcoming Chinese New Year. That amount of spending includes THB5.9 billion on votive offerings, THB3.75 billion on traveling and merit making, plus THB3.5 billion on cash as gifts. A key factor pressuring their spending is ebbing purchasing power, so Bangkok residents intend to make the steepest spending cut on traveling and merit making, followed by cash as gifts and votive offerings. However, close attention must be paid to drought because it may drive up prices of votive offerings.   

            Regarding votive offerings, which represent the highest expense for Bangkok residents during the Chinese New Year festival, our survey shows that some Bangkok residents are keen to purchase votive offerings in sets, though the number is lower than those intending to buy votive offerings individually from stores, which offer quality products. However, if those selling votive offerings in sets are able to provide a diverse range of quality products at different prices, it is expected that they will be able to attract more buyers.

            Meanwhile, eroding purchasing power is considered as a short-term challenge because it can improve when the economy recovers. However, the most important challenge for businesses related to the Chinese New Year ahead is the changing view toward the festival as some young people, who still observe traditions, are not as strict as the older generation while those having difficulties to perform rituals at home may be less inclined to follow traditions. As a result, businesses hoping to profit from the Chinese New Year festival must attract new generation to get more involved in related rituals so that traditions are passed through generations.