THAI GOVT URGED TO SPEED UP PUBLIC SPENDING

BANGKOK, Thailand -- The Thai government has been urged to accelerate its spending on public projects to boost domestic consumption and people's purchasing power, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported.

Thanawat Phonvichai, Director of the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting of Bangkok-based University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), said the government's quick spending on public projects concretely, including those on investing in mega-infrastructure plans, as well as implementing economic stimulus measures from the grassroots would increase the purchasing power of people and their confidence in the Thai economy.

Thanawat revealed that his centre has maintained its projection of Thailand's economic growth this year at 3.6 per cent year-on-year on average, thanks to positive prospect of Thai exports.

According to the senior economist, the current floods in about 10 Thai provinces could reduce the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 0.03-0.05 per cent or more than 9.57 billion baht.

Thanawat also noted that Thailand\'s consumer confidence index last month stood at 73.9, the lowest level in seven months and a further drop in its consecutive months.

He noted that it was due to people's concerns over impacts from current floods in the Thai Northeast and North, and low levels of farm produce prices including those of rice, rubber, tapioca, corn, oil palm and pineapples, amid their rising costs of living in line with increasing retail fuel prices and labour problems incurred from the new executive decree on the management of migrant workers.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK