While the Thai government keeps sounding positive about Thailand’s economy, devastated by Bangkok and northern Thailand floods, many Thais seem to have already accepted the economy is in terrible shape, and is likely to remain that way for a while.
With flooding shuting down a huge number of Thailand’s factories and industrial parks, almost 30% of Bangkok under water at one point (and a good portion of that still flooded), and Thais not spending money (they’ve already spent too much preparing for floods), it doesn’t look like the economy is going to improve any time soon. Inflation on basic food products, however, is likely to rise, in which case expect purchases of food to be cut down upon too.
Today, I went shopping at a local market, for both food and a couple of other none-vital products. The market, normally packed with shoppers and food court diners, was practically deserted and stall owners told us its been this way for the entire week since floods receded there.
At two local supermarkets I went to, they didn’t even have 50% of the basic supplies I needed in stock, as they’re having problems getting certain things due to Thailand’s factories flooding. Basic things like milk, bread, tissues, potatoe chips, yoghurt and a whole slew of other things were either in extremely short supply or none-existent. I had to go to three different places just to find soy milk.
7-11 stores too, in northern Bangkok, are having a terrible time getting shelves stocked back up again. The sandwiches and breakfast buns I normally buy weren’t available, potato chip aisles were completely empty, two brands of coffee I always drink weren’t on the shelves at three different 7-11s, and, if you want Mama noodles, forget it – they don’t have any.
As supply chains struggle to get up and running again, local businesses suffer and people will begin to lose their jobs. The devastation from Thailand’s floods is only in its beginning stages. Expect it to get worse before it begins to get better.