The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has recently released its Business Sentiment Index for February, which shows a positive shift in the country’s business outlook. The index has increased to 50.6, up from 49.8 in January, standing above the 50-point benchmark for the first time in eight months. The rise in the index reflects the improvement in confidence among entrepreneurs, as well as their optimism for earnings, orders, and employment opportunities.
The BOT report indicates that the non-manufacturing and manufacturing sectors both contributed to the rise in the sentiment index. The non-manufacturing sector experienced a boost in confidence across almost all business sectors, including real estate and retail, as the number of foreign tourists visiting the country steadily increased. Additionally, Chinese investors returning to the condominium market have bolstered the real estate sector.
While the manufacturing sector’s sentiment index is still below 50, it has increased for the second consecutive month. The report indicates a decline in confidence among automobile manufacturers due to a decrease in new orders and operating results. This was in line with a sharp decline in export sentiment.
Looking ahead, the sentiment index for the next three months remains relatively stable at 56.2, indicating confidence among entrepreneurs that their businesses will continue to expand. Although the confidence of the non-manufacturing sector declined in almost every component and sector, the manufacturing sector’s confidence has improved, particularly in the electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing group.
Overall, the sentiment index in almost every sector remains above the 50-point benchmark, indicating the confidence of most entrepreneurs that their businesses will expand well in the present and the future.