As of July 2021, KR-ECI drops to 34.7, down from 35.1 during the nationwide lockdown in April 2020. The 3-month Expected KR-ECI slipped to 36.6 from 38.9 in June 2021, indicating that Thai households remain concerned about the economy and making ends meet, especially in terms of income and employment.
KResearch conducted an additional survey on the impact of the lockdown on the 10 provinces designated as areas of highest and strict epidemic control. The survey results showed that 64.2% of those surveyed experienced a reduction in income due to the impact of the lockdown, with 14.3% of households experiencing the impact of business closures and layoffs. The survey results on participation in government relief programs found that up to 30.6% of surveyed households didn’t participate in the two government relief programs, and only 2.9% participated in “The More You Spend, The More You Get” scheme. However, the government’s recent relief programs for 9 occupational groups in 13 provinces with highest and strict epidemic control are likely to ease the impacts experienced to some extent.
Looking ahead, the KR-ECI will continue to face high uncertainty. The protracted COVID-19 outbreak and stricter containment measures will continue to put pressure on the labor market and affect household purchasing power. Therefore, the government should implement targeted and easily accessible relief programs to mitigate the impact, as well as efficiently procure, allocate and distribute vaccines. At the same time, efforts should be made to quickly bring the situation under control, including proactive COVID-19 testing, since the longer the outbreak persists, the greater the damage to the Thai people and the overall economy.
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