BANGKOK, 5 February 2018, (NNT) - The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has indicated that Thailand's January Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) reached a 36-month high, thanks to an upbeat economic outlook in the country pointing to continuous growth.

According to Dr. Thanawat Polvichai, Director of the UTCC Center for Economic and Business Forecasting, last month’s CCI hit 80.0, the fourth straight month of increases and the highest since February 2015.

He credited the optimistic sentiment to upbeat domestic forecasts and last year’s export sector, which expanded by 9.89 percent. Dr. Thanawat said other factors include the minimum wage hike announcement, exceptional stock market performance and the strengthening Thai baht, which is drawing more foreign capital to the Kingdom.

Higher agricultural commodity prices, especially rice, also contributed to the higher CCI. However, the center's director also noted that the prices of several goods, such as rubber, cassava and animal feed corn, remain in lower profit margins.

According to Dr. Thanawat, a number of people are also being affected by rising fuel prices, concerns regarding the political climate in Thailand and the rapidly appreciating Thai baht, which could also work against the export sector. He pointed out that these elements, together with high living costs and the upcoming minimum wage hike, will like impact the CCI this month and in March.

The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting has projected that the domestic economy will expand 4.2-4.3 percent this year and economic recovery will begin to slow towards the end of the second quarter or the beginning of the third quarter.

National News Bureau Of Thailand | January CCI hits highest point in 36 months