July 28, 2023
BANGKOK – Usana Chantarklum, managing director of Ipsos (Thailand), said that global consumer research results over the past 15 months indicated that inflation was the most significant variable causing people to worry, especially in the US.
For Thailand, where the survey covered the past 6 months and involved a sample group of 6,000 people aged 18 and above, representing the demographics across the country,
the top five concerns in the past 6 months were given as follows:
1. 40% percent were most concerned about finances, spending, politics, and corruption, all of which are long-standing issues
2. 39% listed poverty, inequality, and social issues as their main concerns.
3. 29% were anxious about the increasing inflation rate, even though the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has a policy to keep inflation below 4%.
4. 26% were worried about the unemployment rate, and the main factor contributing to this concern was the impact of various technologies, such as artificial intelligence, potentially replacing the jobs people currently hold.
5. 25% percent were concerned about criminality and violence, which could be reduced or alleviated by implementing stricter laws against wrongdoers.
The survey also revealed that while Thais have long worried about equality and poverty, that concern had increased with the rise in inflation and the cost of living, which they felt were caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Another concern was that tourists, particularly from China, had not returned in the numbers expected due to uncertainties in the economy, society, and politics.
Looking six months ahead, 65% of Thais believed that the cost of public utilities, such as gas, electricity, and water, would rise, surpassing the global average concern of 71%. This also held true for diesel and gasoline, as well as food and other necessities.
However, there was still some optimism around, with 64% believing that everything should improve within the next year. Among those with a positive outlook, there was hope that a new coalition government would soon be formed, thus allowing disbursement of the state budget to help alleviate some of the economic problems.