BANGKOK(NNT) – The government’s measures to control the spread of COVID-19, including the declaration of a State of Emergency, business closures, and flight cancellations, as well as the drought disaster, have reduced the Modern Trade Confidence Index in Q1 2020 to 47.2, the lowest in two years.
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s President, Thanawat Polvichai, serving as the consulting director to the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, said today that the latest index which is below 50, indicates an economic slowdown due to the lack of confidence among business operators.
The lack of confidence prevails despite certain positive factors, namely the maintaining of a 0.75% annual policy rate, and relief packages to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on business and society. It is expected the pandemic will cause 1 trillion baht’s damage to the Thai economy.
The private sector is proposing the government urgently issue economic recovery measures, especially by allowing retail stores, shopping malls, shops selling essential goods, hardware stores, and electronics stores to reopen.
They have asked the government to provide more working capital to individual businesses; enable a conversion of employment terms from full time to hourly; allow visits by Chinese tourists with the enforcement of stringent public health protocols, and reduce taxes, such as local taxes and property tax.