ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai business slows, auto sales continue to slump
A SLUMP in car sales in Thailand reached two years in April, while business sentiment hit a seven-month low, the Federation of Thai Industries said on Monday.
While a military coup a year ago ended months of political unrest, Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is suffering from other drags.
Low commodity prices and a drought have hurt farmers’ income.
Banks are cautious to lend, while the junta’s campaign against corruption has had the unintended effect of slowing government spending at a time when faster spending is needed.
“The industrial index fell quite a bit and in every part of the country, reflecting problems in the farm sector, which needs a boost from the government,” FTI Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told reporters after releasing the April business sentiment survey.
Its Thai industries’ sentiment index has fallen for four straight months, and the index hit a seven-month low in April.
Exports, manufacturing, domestic demand and investment have all remained weak this year.
A separate survey reflected frustration that the junta had so far failed to galavanise an economy that grew just 0.9 per cent last year - the lowest since floods wrecked the economy in 2011.
The poll released by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University showed 81 per cent of respondents were disappointed with the junta’s management of the economy.
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