Thai CEOs optimistic about business results in 2016

ceo4A majority of Thai top executives surveyed expressed optimism that their businesses would show improved results this year over last year because of stronger consumer purchasing power and improved economic conditions, according to a survey released last week by the Krungthep Turakij business newspaper.

Nearly 63 percent of the executives polled in the Krungthep Turakij 100 CEOs Survey said their companies’ turnover in 2016 would exceed that of the previous year, with less than 10 percent reporting declines. Fifty percent, meanwhile, cited revenue growth in the first half as a cause for their optimistic outlook.

The results are good news for the government and its economic czar Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak who has developed and been implementing stimulus measures and policies to get the economy going. Government critics had been pointing to decreasing confidence in the economy among businesses and consumers, citing the modest economic growth of the past few years and problems with exports.

But the CEOs surveyed painted a different picture than the critics. They said the key factors driving better business performance were rising consumer purchasing power (79.5 percent), improved public sentiment on the economy (77 percent), the global economic situation (60.2 per cent) and government stimulus policies (57.8 per cent).

Increased confidence was also driving increased business investments for 32 percent of the executives, while 57.7 percent said they were maintaining their level of investments this year. Only about 10 percent said they had cut investments.

Of those who increased investments, 44.4 percent said the funds were aimed at increasing business competency. About 15 percent explained their businesses are in an emerging industry that requires more investment, and 11 percent said it was needed to accommodate business growth sparked by the advent of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community free trade and investment area.

Nearly 50 percent of CEOs expect that their net profit would be higher than last year while 39.2 percent said their companies’ growth would be flat, and 11.4 percent conceded that their net profit would be less than in the previous year.

Fifty percent of respondents reported that their revenue grew in the first half of 2016, while 29.8 percent said there was no growth and 20 percent cited a decline in turnover.

The survey was conducted by Krungthep Turakij, the country’s leading daily business newspaper, and Mirum (Thailand), a digital arm under British media giant WPP Group.