Yes. This is a Green Shoot. And as Green Shoot Amateur and hunter, I know when I see one. 😉
Here is my beloved indicator : oil.
Oil consumption seen through the prism of imports… more precisely net imports (imports minus exports), because Thailand produces and exports oil too.
Why oil (as the first source of energy) is an important indicator ? Because, without making bad jokes, it’s the motor of the economy. We hate, we love it, whatever, this is a fact and we have to deal with it.
The EPPO (Energy Policy and Planning Office, Ministry of Energy) has updated the figures for september (table 2.1-5, and 2.1-4).
Let’s start with imports, volume and amount.
But as I said, let’s go deeper with net imports (we have to remove exports).
There is a clear hike in september : 616 000 barrels per day in september. But we can see that we are clearly under the levels of 2007 and (mid) 2008. During those years, we hit several months 750 000 barrels per day.
Has Thailand increased its energy efficiency between 2007 and 2009 ? Of course not. Consumption went down because of the crisis (plural… we had many in Thailand : political crisis, then inflation crisis, then the Big Global Crisis etc.)
Same datas, but with the % of change year on year (we compare for instance september 2009 with september 2008 etc.)
It’s even clearer… We went rock bottom last winter, during the Great Panic… and since then we start to go up. Slowly but surely (eventhough I insist, we are at lower levels than before).
With the base effect starting in november… the % y-o-y are going to increase a lot.
So shall we rejoyce ? I doubt it. Because oil (energy) is the biggest weakness of Asia.
Remember Thailand in july 2008… Not so long ago… We were on the verge of catastrophy with oil prices at all time highs… Yeah I know people have short memory…
This collective terror will come back. Later… We had it before in the West (70’s)… It will be a first for Asia…
And one thing is sure : they are not prepared for it.