While bar charts, line graphs and simple numbers are hardly capable of providing the defining answer to many economic, social and political questions, they are certainly a good way of obtaining a general overview of any particular subject.
Each month the Business Supplement will look into a brace of statistical information and provide readers with what we consider to be the central elements of these figures.
Thailand’s inflation rate rising
The inflation rate in Thailand surged to 5.28 per cent in February 2022 up from 3.23 per cent the month prior and firmly beating market expectations of 4.05 per cent.
Only a year ago we highlighted how low inflation was and how in March 2021 Thailand recorded -0.08 per cent inflation, i.e. deflation.
What a difference a year has made. Save for a dip last August, inflation has been on an upward surge since then with readings of 1.68 per cent in September, 2.36 per cent in October and 2.71 per cent in November. December saw a slight moderation but the most recent data could be considered to be a move into a new higher range for Thailand.
Of course it may not have escaped your attention that inflation is now on a worryingly strong uptrend across the world with the U.S. posting 7.9 per cent year on year inflation numbers, a 40 year high, and the UK posting 6.2 per cent inflation, again a multi decade high.
Thailand’s inflation rate is mainly affected by prices of food, 36 per cent weighted, transportation, 34 percent weighted, and housing costs, 24 per cent weighted.
Consumer Confidence index slips
Thailand’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) declined to 43.3 in Feb 2022, which marked a five-month low.
In the previous month it reached 44.8 and in December 2021 hit a multi-month high of 46.2.
October and November 2021 saw readings of 43.9 and 44.9 respectively. In August 2021 the index hit an all time low of 39.6, and so it could be seen that there has been somewhat of a recovery since then.
As a comparison, one year ago, in March 2021, the index posted a reading of 48.5.
Rising energy costs were arguably one of the factors behind the recent dip as well as fears about persistently rising Covid-19 cases.
The Consumer Confidence Index is released by The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and is created by analysing the results of a survey sent out to 2,440 households.
A reading above 100 indicates improving sentiment, below 100 marks a declining outlook.