A consumer confidence survey, conducted in April revealed downward movement across the board for the 14th month in a row, resulting in the lowest rating in 21 years and seven months, or since the index began, the state news agency said in its report.
The figure dropped from 50.3 points the previous month to 47.2 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and its present and future impacts on the Thai economy, as well as rising unemployment.
The President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), Asst Prof Dr Thanavath Phonvichai, said the Thai economy is entering a recession after experiencing negative growth for a third quarter in a row and positive growth is only expected from the fourth quarter this year onward.
The forecast is based on the expectation that businesses will restart at the end of the year and B400 billion in government stimuli will begin to enter the economy in August, helping to offset a projected contraction of 8.8%. The contraction is now believed to be between 3.5 and 5.5%.
According to the UTCC President, the pandemic has removed an estimated 50% from the normal B600bn in circulation, but up to B200bn is expected to return if more business restrictions are lifted on May 17.
The Thai economy is expected to show clear recovery in the second quarter of 2021, the report said.