Survey Reveals the Extent of the Pandemic's Impact
A recent survey conducted by The Government Savings Bank's Research Center in Thailand has shed light on the deep economic and financial consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Thai population. The survey, conducted among 1,200 respondents aged 18 and above, revealed that an overwhelming 96.2% have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
A significant 75.8% of the respondents reported a decrease in income, while 57.2% have faced unemployment or business closures. Moreover, 37.3% are grappling with increased expenses, and 26.7% have had to dip into their savings to make ends meet.
High Levels of Financial Stress Reported
The survey also highlighted the psychological toll of these economic challenges, with 47% of the respondents reporting high stress due to their financial situation. Additionally, 41.2% are moderately stressed, and 11.8% are slightly stressed. Only 0.2% reported feeling no stress at all.
The fear of job loss was identified as the main stressor, causing anxiety in 60.8% of respondents. This was closely followed by the fear of not being able to repay debts and the fear of having no savings left, each affecting 39.2% of the respondents.
Financial Planning Amid the Crisis
Despite these hardships, the survey discovered that a majority of respondents have begun to take proactive steps towards financial planning. More than half, 52.5%, have started to plan their finances for the future, while 31.7% have initiated saving. An additional 16.7% have even begun investing. A hopeful 63.3% of respondents believe that their situation will improve in the future.
Low Levels of Financial Literacy Highlighted
The survey also provided insights into the financial literacy of the respondents, a crucial factor in their ability to navigate these trying times. The findings were alarming: 52.5% of respondents have a low level of financial literacy, 46.7% have a moderate level, and only 0.8% can claim a high level of financial literacy.
The Way Forward: Addressing the Economic Impact of the Pandemic
The findings of this survey underscore the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the personal finances and economic security of individuals in Thailand. The majority of respondents reported decreased income and high levels of stress, with a significant number facing unemployment and increased expenses.
These findings highlight the urgent need for financial literacy initiatives and targeted financial support for those most affected by the pandemic. Despite the challenges, the fact that a majority of respondents are hopeful about the future and have begun to take steps towards financial planning is a positive sign. This resilience, coupled with effective support systems and policies, can pave the way for Thailand's economic recovery from the pandemic.