Business sentiment among Japan firms in Thailand worst in 35 years

02, Jul. 2020

Bangkok (Photo by Evan Krause on Unsplash)
Bangkok (Photo by Evan Krause on Unsplash)

BANGKOK, NNA - Business sentiment among Japanese firms operating in Thailand in the first half of this year dropped to the lowest level in 35 years as the Southeast Asian country suffered the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Japanese business group's online survey.

The diffusion index for the January-June period of this year stood at minus 69, down from minus 24 in the preceding half-year period, according to the survey released Tuesday by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok.

The chamber said it was the worst reading since the second half of 1985 when the index came to minus 91.

Atsushi Taketani, director of the chamber's economic research group and head of the Japan External Trade Organization's Bangkok office, attributed the latest negative reading to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has gripped Thailand and other countries around the world.

The chamber polled 1,733 member firms from May 18 to June 10, of which 631 firms or 36.4 percent responded.

For the second half of this year, the reading is projected to improve to minus 44 as economic and social activities in Thailand are likely to be more vibrant because of a possible drop in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The cautiously optimistic forecast for the latter half seems to reflect the view that Japanese companies in Thailand consider the impact of a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak to be less severe than the first one, Taketani told NNA on Tuesday. (NNA/Kyodo)