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11 Apr 2023

Econ Digest

KR-ECI fell in March 2023 as Thai households became more concerned about their debt service burden


        A survey conducted by KResearch during March 2023 found that Thai households were increasingly concerned about their debt service burden due to the policy rate hike trend and the pass-through effect of higher interest rates by commercial banks. Meanwhile, supporting factors like the recovery of the tourism sector and decreasing product prices were not enough to relieve households’ concerns over the overall cost of living burden. As a result, the KR Household Economic Condition Index (KR-ECI) and the 3-month Expected KR-ECI fell to 35.8 and 37.6 respectively, from 36.6 and 38.6 in February 2023.

        In addition, the results of an additional survey on household spending in April 2023 with a long holiday showed that most households (56%) expected to spend more than they did the previous month, viewing it as a good time to celebrate with family and friends. However, some households expected no increase in spending due to the high cost of living.
        Going forward, although the KR-ECI tends to recover, the recovery remains fragile due to various risk factors. Particularly, there are concerns that the rising debt service burden, resulting from increasing interest rates, will put pressure on household consumption. However, the continued strong recovery in the tourism sector is a supporting factor that will boost optimism for households, regarding income and employment.

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Econ Digest