InfoQuest, (April 23, 2020) -- The industrial confidence indicator in March was 88.0, lower than 90.2 in February, a 28-month low since December 2017, according to Mr. Suphan Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
The decline was mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which led the government to announce the closure of shopping centers, stores and other business places, as well as the emergency decree to strictly control the spread of the outbreak. As a result, domestic economic activity, including the consumption of goods and services, continued to drop.
Currently, the business sector is facing such problems as the decline in production and sales, and delays in the transportation of goods and raw materials. Besides, the drought is becoming more and more serious, resulting in a shortage of raw materials in the agricultural processing industry and a decline in the purchasing power of the agricultural sector.
The industrial confidence index for the next three months is expected to fall to 96.0 from 98.1 in February 2020, the lowest in a decade since July 2009, as operators are concerned about the business in the next three months. If the outbreak does not abate, it will affect liquidity and economic recovery.
The FTI thus recommended the government to allow businesses to use epidemic prevention expenses for tax credits.
It also suggested that the government provide support to the domestic e-commerce platforms to adapt to the new consumer behavior in the wake of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, in government procurement, the government should encourage the purchase of domestic products (Made-in-Thailand).
Source: InfoQuest, by Tanawat Suayaem / Kasamarporn / Sasithorn, translated by Xinhua Silk Road
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