Inflation rose significantly in 2022 meaning the Lao kip exchange rate remained weak compared to other currencies, particularly the dollar and baht, leading to rising consumer costs. This affected household spending, especially among low and middle income socioeconomic groups.
Laos experienced its first nationwide lockdown in March 2020 and prohibited everyone from leaving their home except to buy essential products or for health reasons. Working from home was also imposed for all office workers.
Inflation rose significantly in 2022 over the previous year, with the country having one of the highest inflation rates in Southeast Asia, rising from 30.01% in August to 34% in September.
During the pandemic years, 2020, people spent much more time at home, with many having to work and educate their children at home. The nature of the COVID-19 virus also led to a greater focus on personal hygiene and house cleaning, all of which were beneficial for some home care product categories.
Before COVID-19 (or 2020) Lao people preferred crossing the border to shop in the provinces of Thailand that are near Lao borders. By 2022, people had begun to shop locally thanks to the growing availability of supermarkets in large cities making it easier for consumers to access home care products.
In 2022, Laos reopened to tourists which will lead to an improvement in the country’s economic performance over the forecast period. This will also help to alleviate weakness in the local currency, and lead to a reduction in the prices of home care products.
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