Thai firms expect businesses to recover in first quarter

Nearly half of businesses in Thailand were expecting businesses to return to normal in the first quarter of 2022, once COVID-19 cases drop below 50.

According to Bangkok Post citing a survey by the Bank of Thailand, the business sentiment index showed that 260 businesses of all sizes found 45 percent of respondents expecting public confidence to resume in the said period, including spending life outside homes and traveling without restrictions.

Meanwhile, 24 percent of the respondents expected lives to return to normal when new infections range between 51 to 100 per day, while 16 percent expected the shift when cases drop to between 101 to 500. Some 15 percent were betting on business recovery when figures begin ranging between 501 and 1,000.

The responses were gathered between July 1 and 22, the report said.

A total of 34 percent of respondents expected normal life to resume in the first quarter of 2022, while 26 percent projected placed bets on the second half of next year.

Some 18 percent said they expected normal life in the fourth quarter this year, while 11 percent in the second quarter of 2022, and 10 percent in the third quarter of 2021.

More than one-fifth, or 22.8 percent of respondents, said that they had enough liquidity to cover business operations for up to six months, while 19.9 percent said were prepared in the next six months to one year.

Some 12.6 percent were said to have enough cash to last less than three months.

However, the survey found that the liquidity of businesses last month barely changed from the month earlier.

However, the level of business recovery across all industries declined from the previous month, on account of the prolonged pandemic and the government’s tougher measures to contain new infections.

Sector-wise, the tourism, construction, and retail industries were battered the most, having reported weaker recovery rates.

Last month, the tourism sector had the slowest recovery level at 46.8 percent, followed by real estate and construction at 63.1 percent, trade at 66.9 percent, services excluding tourism at 72.2 percent.

The manufacturing sector recovered the fastest at 77.6 percent.

It can be learned that the Thai government extended its lockdown and curfew measures for two more weeks, and added 16 provinces to its “strict control zones.”

Curfew was set between 9 pm and 4 am, affecting 29 provinces.
The employment recovery level of all business sectors in July was steady from the previous month, excluding tourism and construction.
Many tourism businesses closed temporarily, in line with plunging foreign tourist arrivals.

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