Songkran this year will be more exuberant 

  • People take part in water battles as they celebrate Songkran – the Thai new year – in Narathiwat, southern Thailand on April 13, 2016. Thais and tourists took to the streets throughout Thailand on April 13 to drench each other in the mass water fight that marks the country’s new year festival Songkran, as authorities attempted to crack down on alcohol, topless dancers and other “indecencies”. / AFP PHOTO / MADAREE TOHLALA

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Economic and Business Forecasting says Songkran celebration this year will be more exuberant than last year with celebrants showing willingness to spend higher.

It estimates consumer spending nationwide will grow by 3-5% this year which will generate no less than 100 billion baht in cash flows during the Songkran holidays from April 12 to 16.

The center says the consumer confidence index for March supports these predictions with a slight improvement from 79.3 points in February to 79.9.

This is mainly attributable to the exceptional growths in national exports and tourism.

But the main concerns for the country, however, are uncertainties over general elections; the effect of the minimum wage hike; the trade war between the US and China; and agricultural price fluctuations.