The Thailand Industry Sentiment Index (TISI) jumped to 89.2 points in March, the highest in 25 months, while the mood in April should be improved by the Songkran festival, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
Entrepreneurs are increasing their production to serve customers as demand for goods is expected to grow during the five-day holiday next week, said Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the FTI.
The improving sentiment is on the back of the government’s move to ease measures to control the spread of Covid-19, including for the Test and Go tourism scheme, while people appear to be less worried about the pandemic, said the federation.
The TISI increased from 86.7 points in February to 89.2 points in March, the highest level since March 2020.
“These factors will help drive the manufacturing sector and the economy, though the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war remains,” said Supant.
The war that broke out on 24 February has resulted in a surge in global oil prices which raise concerns among oil importing countries including Thailand, which is also battling increasing inflation.
The adjustment of the Test and Go scheme on 1 March helped facilitate the entry of foreign tourists, though the FTI insists the government needs to abandon Covid-19 screening to further boost tourism.
Supan noted that many countries allow fully vaccinated tourists to enter freely, therefore Thailand should also do the same, adding that the government must adjust screening measures to suit its plan to declare Covid-19 endemic in July.
The March TISI was based on a survey of 1,303 enterprises across 45 industries.
The global oil price hike was at the top of respondents’ concerns with 78.5 percent of votes, followed by the spread of Covid-19 (62.2%) and worry over a global economic slowdown (55.2%).
The FTI reiterated its call for the government to deal with the problem of increasing production costs.