Economic Situation Down But Positive Consumer Outlook
A survey from Kantar TNS Thailand in conjunction with Marketbuzzz reveals that economic growth lost speed in the fourth quarter yet Thai people have a positive outlook for the future of Thailand.
Overall, Thailand is still in a fragile situation when we have seen a number of economic indicators continue to drop, in addition to the passing of the beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Yet despite the current situation, and much-needed stimulus could help even more, the Thai people have a positive outlook for the future of Thailand and dispel some clouds of uncertainty.
The survey by Kantar TNS Thailand and Marketbuzzz revealed the main current concerns among Thais are the ‘Price of agricultural goods’ with 51% mentioning this as a main concern, followed by 42% mentioning the ‘costs of living’ and 40% mentioned ‘Thailand’s economy’.
The survey also looked into consumer spending with most Thais claiming they are cutting back on their expenditure with 80% of Thais say that they will control unnecessary expenses and 77% will buy goods only as necessary.
Consumer spending is the key to any market economy. Mr. Grant Bertoli CEO of Marketbuzzz explained that “Consumer Spending is fundamentally linked to whether the economy is doing well or not and there is no doubt that consumer spending is the most vital component of any economy and accounts for a high proportion of a countries GDP”.
The top 3 specific spending areas which are considered necessities to their daily lives are food and beverage, dry groceries, and interesting their mobile phone. It also revealed that Thais are delaying their decision to buy non necessities such as e.g. Traveling abroad (64% will spend less or have no plan to do), Investment in LTF/RMF (60% will spend less or have no plan to do), new cars (52% will spend less or have no plan to do).
While almost all Thais are controlling the expenditure, it was the Millennials (the 18-24 years old) who claim they were more likely to look for a second job or part time job to earn more income. Indicating this young age group is looking for more ways to find more money than not necessarily control spending. This is consistent with a study conducted by the Thailand Market Research Society (TMRS) in 2016 which showed that this younger Millennials are more entrepreneaurial and take life into their own hands to get ahead.
Despite the current situation, the general sentiment on the outlook for the future is positive with 71% claimed that Thailand next year will be better or the same as this year. Interestingly, females and younger age groups are more likely to understand that changes will happen but unsure of what the changes will be where as the older groups also understand that changes will happen but are less concerned about the impact. Dr. Arpapat Boonrod, CEO, Kantar Insights commented “Now and again, we see Thais bounce back from negative situations with great positivity. Despite the current gloomy situation, most Thais still have positive sentiment. They are still hopeful for a better future. One key learning is that many are still unsure of how the current situation will impact them in the future despite the having positive feelings”.
What is underpinning the positive outlook are a number of factors which they claim will be better. The top three for Thais are ‘Inbound tourism’ 46% would be better, ‘Domestic tourism’ from within Thailand 44% and Thailand’s overall image 41% claimed it would better.
The survey also revealed the consumer’s view on what they expect from Companies and Brands during the current times. The three most important contributions companies should currently make to the country over this time are to support the Sufficiency Economy, Society and Environmental Safety, and Supporting Royal Charity Projects.
And if they were to advertise, 58% thought that CSR and Corporate Ads should be increased yet only 42% revealed that Commercial Ads can be aired as normal. Again indicating there is a more discerning factor at play here for the current situation in Thailand. Dr. Arpapat Boonrod, CEO, Kantar Insights said “While advertising for companies will remain and consumers will continue to go on with their daily lives, companies and brand which hold a higher moral ground with a stronger sense of corporate social responsibility will be seen in a positive way. In general Thais have higher expectation for brands to be responsible in solving social problems. They would like to see brands give back to society. Brand image is now linked to brand’s impact to society.”
Kantar TNS is one of the world’s largest research agencies with experts in over 80 countries. We provide actionable insights to help companies make impactful decisions and drive growth. With expertise in innovation, brand and communication, shopper activation and customer relationships we help our clients identify, optimise and activate the moments that matter to drive growth for their business. We are part of Kantar, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies.
Marketbuzzz currently utilizes the user base of Buzzebees which has over 22 million users. It is the biggest database in South East Asia. In this ecosystem, we can conduct mobile survey effectively, fast, accurately, and everywhere every time like 24/7. Apart from that, we can design and customize the questionnaire in many aspects based on client needs. Further, there are several kinds of services for mobile survey such as product development, brand improvement, advertisement evaluation, customer and employee satisfaction, and consumer behavior study.