Chart : strong increase… of credit card spendings in december

At last ! At last, there is something going up in Thailand : credit card spendings.

I’m not sure though… it’s a very good news. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s review the details.

Total number of credit cards (thai banks + foreign banks branches + non banks) grew 8,2 % in december 2008, compared to december 2007.

But what is really weird… it’s the unprecedented increase of… total spendings !


The total credit cards spendings reached a new record at 86,5 billions THB, that’s an increase of 8,5 % year-on-year (79,75 billions in december 2007), but a whooping 20,5 % increase compared to the previous month (71,76 billions in november).

Is it like a catch-up effect, after a weak november ?

We can’t discard a seasonal effect, end of the year, christmas, bonus paid… bla bla… the amount spent in december is always strong.

But those figures do not match with… consumption and other stats we have. For instance VAT collection (-6,91 % in december, read my article here).

You start to see where I want to go… ? If the consumption is decreasing… but credit card spendings are increasing… it means people pay less with cash… and more with credit ! They rely more on short term credit… Why ? Because plastic is fantastic ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maybe. Or maybe because… they don’t have cash.

Anyway, it’s going to be interesting to follow closely the data for january… Rendez-vous march 10.

(Source Bank Of Thailand, table FI_CB_080_S2)

7 Responses to “Chart : strong increase… of credit card spendings in december”

  1. 2 RockderktheGreat 3 March 2009 at 8:25 am

    I think several percentage points might be attributed to my car repair bill…

  2. 3 Bedwyr 3 March 2009 at 1:06 pm

    This is clearly a very worrying sign, and only 3 things can be read into this, either singly or in combination:

    1. People are already feeling the pinch, the Micawber effect.
    2. People think they will be feeling the pinch soon and are trying to delay onset of the Micawber effect.
    3. People don’t give a shit – hell, get down the wat for a nice pray and all will be well.

    Life in the land of the great illusion.

    I particularly liked the exhortation to the poor from Abhisit: “when you get the 2,000bt that will solve all your problems, get down to the shops straight away and spend it so my rich mates will get it chop chop without me having to give it to them right out”.

    I imagine the Dean of Economics at Abhisit’s college in Oxford is shrieking with pain at this lout. He’s probably sent out the hit man already.


  3. 4 ThaiCrisis 3 March 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Indeed, beyond the question of the amount, this “hand out” is shocking. It’s really like tea-nuts money thrown away to the monkey-poors, with an order : “Go and spend”.
    To think just a second that this policy is going to do more than a smelly fart as far as GDP growth is concerned, is (I think) totally mind boggling.

    This is why I believe the agenda is… more political.

  4. 5 George P Tuckeer 3 March 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I signed up for a bunch of porn sites. Could that have tipped the scales?

  5. 6 DuckVader 3 March 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I would assume that credit cards are given to those firmly in the middle class. So they are now hoarding cash (or lack it). So is the crisis finally beginning to hit Bangkok, and does this make it more difficult for the Democrats? What if growth slides to near -8% by Q2 or Q3? Should this worry Abhisit, or are the elites firmly in his camp that they probably don’t care?

  6. 7 ThaiCrisis 3 March 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Well, if the hypothesis is right (no more cash, so people use more plastic, with short term credit), then sure it’s a very bad news for the government.
    And Abhisit. Because he won’t be able to deliver.
    After the “bribe” of 2000 THB paid to 9 millions of people (beginning april)… what will happen ? People will forget quickly. Back to square one.
    In any case, it was obvious since october (and the first very bad stats in Thailand)… Abhisit wouldn’t be able to deliver. He’s trapped.
    He wanted to assume power…. He has it…. Amid a full blown recession it’s going to be much more difficult to keep it.

    Anyway… Cash and credit cards… are linked to consumption… And consumption is perfectly linked to…. VAT collections.
    And VAT collections plunged 18 % in january (y-o-y, compared to january 2008). And in december, it was -6,9 %.

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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