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Thai industries confidence drops for first time in six months

BANGKOK (CNA) – Thailand’s industries sentiment dropped in February for the first time in six months, dented by a spike in COVID-19 infections, surging oil prices and the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an industries group said yesterday.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said its industries sentiment index fell to 86.7 in February from 88.0 in the previous month.

Industries were worried about every factor in the FTI’s survey, including the global and domestic economies and volatile exchange rates, FTI Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told a news conference.

The Ukraine crisis has had a direct and indirect impact, particularly on the prices of energy and raw materials, he said. “Many factories are having problems on how to reduce costs. They may likely cut jobs and bring in technology.”

The FTI urged the government to further relax travel restrictions, introduce additional measures and continue to support energy prices by further cutting excise taxes.

“We are asking if the government will offer any package to help because industries now don’t have a lot of stocks,” FTI Vice Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul said.

Earlier this month, Thailand’s joint industry, banking, and commerce group trimmed its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent from 3.0 per cent to 4.5 per cent, after last year’s 1.6 per cent expansion.

People visiting Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand. PHOTO: CNA

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