The KR-ECI conducted across the country increased slightly to 45.7 in February over 45.5 reported for January because households were less anxious about expenses and debt burden.
The 3-month Expected KR-ECI also rose to 47.4 in February as households were more optimistic towards the Thai economic outlook after the general elections. In addition, they had more positive views about income and employment as it is approaching the harvest season of several import crops for agricultural households while there were news reports of the daily minimum wage rise for 2019.
KResearch views that issues that must be monitored closely in 2019. These include drought, which has arrived early and is expected to last longer than the previous year, because it will affect farm income and the cost of living of households resulting from higher raw food prices. Another issue is the outcome of the general elections scheduled for March 24, 2019 because it will dictate the Thai economic direction from 2H19 onward.