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Thai Oct factory output rises for 3rd month, but less than forecast

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:18
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Thailand's industrial output rose for a third straight month in October, buoyed by demand for cosmetics, chemicals and petroleum, but the gain was much smaller than expected, suggesting the recovery remains fragile.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's industrial output rose for a third straight month in October, buoyed by demand for cosmetics, chemicals and petroleum, but the gain was much smaller than expected, suggesting the recovery remains fragile.

The Industry Ministry said on Wednesday its manufacturing production index (MPI) in October was up 0.1 per cent from a year earlier. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 0.75 per cent.

In September, output rose a revised 1.13 per cent from a year earlier, rather than the 0.6 per cent increase reported earlier after August's 3.18 per cent gain.

Industrial goods accounted for 80 per cent of total exports in October, which surprisingly slumped 4.2 per cent from the year before, customs data showed earlier. Shipments are worth about two-thirds of the economy.

Capacity utilisation was 65.4 per cent in October after a revised 65.46 per cent in September.

Exports have contracted in the past three years, frustrating the junta's efforts to revive South-east Asia's second-largest economy since taking power in May 2014 to end prolonged street protests.

Last week, the state planning agency predicted exports would be flat this year, rather than fall 1.9 per cent as previously projected. It expected the economy to grow 3.2 per cent this year, up from 2.8 per cent last year.

REUTERS