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FT Confidential Research

Ballooning household debt will slow Thailand's growth

Strapped consumers struggle to make payments and get new loans

Thai baht banknotes are seen next to gold offered for sale in a gold shop in Bangkok's Chinatown   © Reuters

Consumer borrowing is accelerating significantly in Thailand and around a quarter of consumers are having trouble making repayments on their debts, with credit cards and car loans the main areas of concern, according to an FT Confidential Research survey.

Thailand has the second-largest household debt burden among ASEAN economies, just behind Malaysia, which faces similar structural challenges. Relative to GDP, both countries have higher consumer borrowing levels than far-more-developed Singapore, and are well above the average level of G-20 nations, according to the Bank of International Settlements.

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