×

Floods, econ worries hit Thai Sept consumer confidence

* Worries over new flooding hurt confidence

* Concern over GDP growth forecast downgrade

* Oil price increase hits confidence

* Worries about politics after rival groups clash

BANGKOK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Data from University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce

KEY DATA Consumer Confidence Index Sept Aug July June May Apr Mar Feb Jan 67.5 68.4 68.2 68.5 67.1 67.5 66.5 65.5 64.0 BACKGROUND

- Consumer confidence in Thailand edged up in August, lifted by government stimulus measures and delays in tax increases as the economy continued to recover from devastating flooding in late 2011. But global economic risks could weigh on sentiment.

- The government has introduced measures to help flood-hit firms and individuals along with economic stimulus measures promised during last year's election, such as wage increases and a rice intervention scheme to boost income and spending.

- Minimum wages rose 40 percent in April; the government has also brought in price controls and extended subsidies on transport and utilities to hold down the cost of living.

- The floods battered seven huge industrial estates in October last year; industry is broadly back to normal but the global economic slowdown is now hurting demand for exports, which are equal to 60 percent of the economy each year.

- To help business hit by flooding the Bank of Thailand (BOT) cut its benchmark interest rate

in November and January, taking it to 3.0 percent, and it has left it there for five straight meetings including September's.

- It next reviews interest rates on Oct. 17. Despite recent weak economic data, most economists expect the BOT to keep the rate steady for now, particularly after a jump in September inflation.

- Thai exports fell 5.1 percent in August from a year earlier as Europe's crisis continued to sap demand while factory output tumbled 11.3 percent.

.

- Last week, the central bank said it would again cut its scaled-down export growth forecast of 7 percent for 2012. But it said the economy could still expand 5.7 percent this year due to strong domestic demand after 2011 growth of just 0.1 percent due to the floods.

LINKS:

For details, see the university website:

(Reporting by Boontiwa Wichakul; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Alan Raybould)

((amy.lefevre@thomsonreuters.com)(Tel: +66 26489737)(Reuters Messaging: amy.lefevre.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))

Keywords: THAILAND ECONOMY/CONFIDENCE