InfoQuest, (February 27, 2020) -- Mr. Pisit Puapan, director of the Macroeconomic Policy Bureau of Thailand's Fiscal Policy Office (FPO), disclosed an economic confidence index report by region for February 2020. According to the survey data on the future trend of the Thai economy, Thailand's future economic confidence index (for next six months) remains relatively stable compared to last month. But close eye must be kept on agriculture in the central region and tourism in the southern and eastern regions affected by the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak.
For the northeastern region, the index stands at 60.4, showing people's growing confidence in the Thai economy, especially in agriculture and services. This is mainly because the government has introduced policies to promote and support agriculture to improve production efficiency, and policies to stimulate tourism.
For the eastern region, the index reaches 60.4, showing an improvement in the future economic expectations, especially in industry and employment. This comes as a result of increasing investor confidence and the establishment of industrial parks in special economic zones. Moreover, the next six months is the harvest season of major agricultural products such as durian and mangosteen which will require a large amount of agricultural labor. At the same time, the best time to travel is also coming, which will help underpin the development of services and increase demand for labor. However, agriculture hit by drought and tourism affected by the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) outbreak in the eastern region needs to be closely monitored.
For the northern region, the index stands at 53.2, showing people's constant confidence in future economic growth. Agricultural and industrial sectors are the main supporting factors, mainly because many crops are entering the harvest season, major economic crops are entering the planting season and more and more factories are approved to resume operation. However, it is necessary to closely monitor the smog situation in the northern provinces and the possible impact on tourism in the north with the approach of hot and rainy seasons.
For the southern region, the index stands at 53.1, down from last month, but agriculture and employment will provide support. That's mainly because the government has introduced policies to stimulate rubber demand and raise rubber prices by, for example,using rubber and rubber products in road construction like gloves, pillows, and shoes. Meanwhile, due to domestic constant demand for palm oil, the government has introduced B10 and B20 biodiesel promotion policy. This policy is designed to promote long-term price stability of palm oil at home and undertake a large amount of palm oil from refineries in the next 3-4 months. But the tourism industry affected by the COVID-19 needs to be closely monitored.
For Bangkok and neighboring areas, the index is 53.1, showing people's growing confidence in future economic growth. The main supporting factors come from the agricultural and industrial sectors, mainly due to the development of higher-quality agricultural products and investment promotion measures for industrial enterprises. Employment and investment situation in Bangkok and surrounding areas should be closely watched.
For the western region, the index stands at 51.9, down from last month. However, it is expected that the agricultural and industrial sectors will become the main supporting factors. That's mainly because the government has introduced a series of policies on agriculture including water resources management, developing agricultural clusters, advancing the application of technology in the production process and improving the quality of agricultural products. Moreover, the government has also formulated all kinds of economic stimulus polices including those to encourage private investment, in an effort to increase industrial production, corporate investment and employment. But provinces where employment and investment have shrunk must be monitored.
For the middle region, the index is stable at 50.5, but its agriculture still needs to be monitored, especially in drought-hit provinces.
Source:InfoQuest, by Khara/ Kasamarporn / Sasithorn, translated by Xinhua Silk Road
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