Spending on family and food given priority amid tighter Lunar New Year budgets this year: UOB Survey
With lower budgets for the Lunar New Year celebrations, Thais will focus their spend on family and food this year, according to the annual United Overseas Bank (UOB) (Thai) Lunar New Year Survey(1).
The survey revealed that the respondents expect to spend an average of 21 per cent less on Lunar New Year festivities than they did last year. Travel and shopping would be the main areas where Thais would economise this year, down 35 per cent and 45 per cent respectively, while food and red packets saw the smallest decline (down 6 per cent and 13 per cent respectively).
Almost 7,000 baht, or a 23 per cent of their total budget of 29,400 baht, will be spent on the tradition of giving red packets to family and friends. The respondents said they would give their parents and parents-in-law the highest amounts in their red packets this year, at 5,448 baht and 3,732 baht on average respectively. They said they planned to spend another 5,300 baht on food – nearly half of which would be used for traditional family reunion dinners.
UOB (Thai) economist Mr Manop Udomkerdmongkol said that while the rising cost of living has resulted in a smaller budget this Lunar New Year, respondents are still spending on their loved ones.
“Lunar New Year is an occasion for many Thai families to get together and bond with one another over the traditional reunion dinner and through the giving of red packets. It is heartening to note that these customs remain important throughout various economic cycles,” Mr Manop said.
Roosters rule the roost in red packet design
Traditional patterns and colours continue to be the most preferred red packet design option among the respondents (50 per cent), followed closely by red packets with eye-catching or innovative designs (44 per cent) and those with relevant and auspicious greetings (40 per cent).
To welcome the Year of the Rooster, UOB has drawn on the boldness of the rooster for its 2017 red packet designs. The red packet features six roosters in geometric shapes to delight the young and young at heart and an auspicious greeting “鸿运吉祥” to wish recipients good fortune. The auspicious colour of red was selected and each packet features a brush stroke to signify “a stroke of good luck”.
For the third consecutive year, UOB has also used paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for its red packets. This is the highest standard of responsible forestry management and is one of the ways UOB supports the sustainable use of natural resources.
(1)The UOB survey, conducted by Ipsos, interviewed 500 people in Thailand aged between 18 and 55 on the behaviours and attitudes for the 2017 Lunar New Year. The survey was conducted from November to December 2016.