Amidst Thailand’s ongoing political conundrum, a ray of positivity shines through the nation’s industrial sectors as they mark a jump in sentiment in June, the first in three months. According to Monday’s report by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), this uplift is primarily fuelled by escalating domestic demand.
This climb in industrial sentiment from 92.5 in May to 94.1 in June provides a much-needed respite, despite the ongoing struggles with tepid exports and unease over the formation of a new government. The FTI, however, brought attention to the struggles faced by the Thai exports, considered a major component of the nation’s growth, due to weakened global demand.
Domestic demand has been spurred by a steady recovery in the crucial tourism sector. The FTI predicts a year-end tally of 29 to 30 million foreign tourists, a hopeful increase albeit far from the near 40 million visitors experienced in pre-pandemic 2019, shared FTI vice-chair Montri Mahaplerkpong.
However, a cloud of political uncertainty hovers over Thailand post the May national election, as a new government has yet to be established. Leader of the victorious Move Forward party, Pita Limjaroenrat, has been denied the prime minister’s seat twice by parliament, inciting widespread protests from his supporters who blame this on unfair rules.
Move Forward, with a solid backing from the youth, stands on anti-establishment policies that include reforming the military, dissolving business monopolies, and amending the royal insult law safeguarding the monarchy from criticism.
While the industrial sentiment index indicates a positive current scenario, the FTI’s forecasting index for the next three months has sadly slipped to a five-month low in June, mirroring persisting concerns.