Consumer confidence rises for a sixth straight month and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce expects people to spend more in the first half. (Bangkok Post photo)

Consumer confidence rose for a sixth straight month in January, hitting its highest since January 2015, bolstered by better economic prospects due to strong exports and tourism, but low commodity prices remain a concern, a survey showed on Monday.

The index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce rose to 80.0 in January from 79.2 in December.

Consumers were expected to spend more in the first half, which would help the economy expand 4.2-4.5% this year, the university said in a statement.

The index reflects views on the economy, job opportunities and future income. The survey is usually done in the last week of the month.

The government plans an extra budget of 150 billion baht for the current fiscal year, mainly for developing the rural economy.

Private consumption accounts for half of the economy, but has been curbed by high household debt, which is nearly 80% of gross domestic product.

However, the Finance Ministry expects the economy to have expanded 4% in 2017 and to grow 4.2% this year, helped by exports, tourism and government spending.

News Reporter

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