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Thai March consumer sentiment at 5-month low: survey
[BANGKOK] Thai consumer confidence fell to a five-month low in March, a university survey showed on Tuesday, as the worst drought in over twenty years hurt the farm sector and concern over the global economy weighed on sentiment.
Sentiment was also hurt by the central bank lowering its 2016 growth forecast in March, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. The central bank cut its forecast for growth to 3.1 per cent from 3.5 per cent.
Consumers felt the impact of the drought had worsened and were worried about the cost of living, it said.
Southeast Asia's second-largest economy has been slow to recover since the army seized power in May 2014 with exports and domestic demand remaining lacklustre.
The junta has rolled out several rounds of stimulus measures to spur domestic spending and sought to accelerate infrastructure projects in an attempt to lift activity.
The government has announced tax breaks of up to 15,000 baht (S$574.4) per person during the Thai New Year in mid-April for spending on hotels and food in Thailand.
It also renewed a round-the-year tax deduction of up to 15,000 baht for domestic travel.