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Thai factory output rises for third straight month in May

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Thailand's industrial output rose for a third straight month in May but the recovery remains fragile with both exports and domestic consumption sluggish.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's industrial output rose for a third straight month in May but the recovery remains fragile with both exports and domestic consumption sluggish.

The Industry Ministry said on Thursday its manufacturing production index (MPI) in May rose 2.6 per cent from a year earlier. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 1.85 per cent.

In April, output rose a revised 0.89 per cent from a year earlier, instead of the 1.54 per cent reported a month earlier.

Industrial goods accounted for nearly 79 per cent of total exports in May, which declined 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, customs data showed.

May's output increase was led by autos, air conditioners and rubber products.

Capacity utilisation was at 67.45 per cent in May, up from April's revised 59.52 per cent.

Exports have contracted in each of the past three years. The central bank has forecast shipments will fall 2.5 per cent this year, down from a 2 per cent drop projected earlier, while it still expects the economy to grow 3.1 per cent.

REUTERS