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Thai Aug factory output rises 3.74% y-o-y, beats forecast

[BANGKOK] Thailand's annual industrial output rose for second straight month in August, beating forecasts, helped by stronger production of car and car engines, rubber and electronics, suggesting the economic recovery is gaining more traction.

The manufacturing production index (MPI) in August rose 3.74 per cent from a year earlier, the Industry Ministry said on Friday. The median forecast in a Reuters poll was a 2.8 per cent rise.

July's index was revised to a 3.43 per cent year-on-year increase from a 3.73 per cent rise reported earlier.

In the January-August period, the index was up one per cent from a year earlier.

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Capacity utilisation at factories in August rose to 62.46 per cent from a revised 60.02 per cent in July.

Industrial goods accounted for about 80 per cent of total exports, which jumped 13.2 per cent in August from a year earlier, customs data showed.

Exports, a key driver of growth in South-east Asia's second-largest economy, have recovered in 2017 after years of weakness.

The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday raised its 2017 economic growth forecast to 3.8 per cent from 3.5 per cent, with exports rising 8 per cent.

Last year's economic growth was 3.2 per cent, which still lagged regional peers.

REUTERS