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14 Dec 2022

Econ Digest

KR-ECI in November 2022 improves for the first time in 14 months, but remains below pre-COVID-19 level, with Thai households less concerned about the cost of living like product prices and expenses


        The KR Household Economic Condition Index (KR-ECI) and the 3-month Expected KR-ECI improved to 35.0 and 36.4 in November 2022 from 33.8 and 35.7 in October 2022 respectively as Thailand’s inflation has slowed for 3 consecutive months and households are optimistic about the employment prospects after the tourism sector shows signs of continued recovery.

        KResearch has conducted an additional survey regarding households’ merit-making and travel plans at the end of 2022; it is found that 38% of surveyed households have plans to make merit with friends/family, while 23% have no plans due to the already high expenses, reflecting that the high level of product prices remains a drag on demand of some households. The survey also shows that 54% of households expect to incur more expenses than the previous month.

        Meanwhile, the tourism sector will be an important supporting factor for the recovery of the Thai economy and household livelihoods, particular during Thailand’s year-end tourism season. In addition, attention should be paid to the government’s stimulus measures that are expected to become clear by the end of this year such as the tax deduction measure, spending and tourism stimulus measures.

        Looking ahead to 2023, the economic recovery and household livelihoods will continue to face various key risk factors. In particular, volatility in energy prices may affect the limits of future government subsidy measures; the trend of global economic slowdown may affect Thai exports, as reflected by a contraction in Thai exports in October 2022; and a limited or lower-than-expected recovery in tourism sector. Nonetheless, the return of Chinese tourists could be a supportive factor for the Thai economy if China reopens its borders.

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Econ Digest