InfoQuest, (October 19, 2019) -- The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) in September hit its lowest level in 12 months, dropping to 92.1 from 92.8 in August. This decline was largely because entrepreneurs remained concerned that the global economy, as well as the domestic economy, will continue to see a slowdown, according the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
More than 70 percent of business operators remained concerned about the trade war between China and the United States. Over 50 percent of local entrepreneurs were worried about the baht's continuing appreciation. In September, the baht gained 5 percent, to its strongest level of 30.76 baht versus the U.S. dollar, and Thai exporters suffered from this currency appreciation. Retail oil prices have increased gradually, putting pressure on the operating costs of businesses.
Mr. Supant said although the government had many stimulus measures to beef up the country's GDP, overall business sentiment had yet to recover in the big picture. He cited the slowdown of investment projects at home and manufacturing machinery and raw material imports. Domestic consumption also shrunk from floods in the Northeast Region.
The FTI forecast that the TISI will reach 103.4 over the next three months, up from its previous forecast of 102.9, because business operators gain confidence in Thai economy, as they expect the government's "Taste-Shop-Spend" measure (Phase I/Phase II) will stimulate domestic expenditure by the end of 2019.
The FTI suggested the government encourage Thai enterprises to invest abroad, especially in the markets with great potential, adjust investment terms and tax incentives to attract more investors, as well as strengthen the support for "Made in Thailand" products, promote the consumption of domestic produces, especially through the procurement of government, and guide Thai consumers to buy more local products.
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