Thai consumer mood at 5-month high in July


BANGKOK, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Thai consumer confidence rose for a second consecutive month in July, hitting a five-month high, boosted by improving economic activity following an easing of related restrictions to COVID-19, but the high cost of living remains a concern, a survey showed on Thursday.

The University of Thailand Chamber of Commerce consumer index rose to 42.4 in July from 41.6 the previous month.

Consumer spending is expected to gradually improve later this year as the economy picks up pace, helped by rising exports and a recovery in the vital tourism sector, university president Thanavath Phonvichai said during a meeting. of a press briefing.

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The economy is expected to grow 3.0% to 3.5% this year, with exports up 6% to 8% and foreign tourist arrivals expected between 8 and 10 million, he said.

There were nearly 40 million foreign tourists in 2019 before the pandemic.

The central bank’s first interest rate hike in nearly four years on Wednesday is unlikely to have a big impact on the economy as commercial banks won’t rush to raise interest rates, Thanavath said. Read more

The central bank is expected to raise the key rate by a quarter point at each of the two remaining meetings this year, taking the rate to 1.25%, he added.

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Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor

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