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Thai March factory output rises 2.62%, below forecast
[BANGKOK] Thailand's annual industrial output rose less than expected in March, but capital utilisation was the highest in five years, boosted by higher production of cars, car engines and petroleum, the industry ministry said on Monday.
The manufacturing production index (MPI) in March increased 2.62 per cent from a year earlier after February's 4.63 per cent increase, which was revised slightly down from 4.66 per cent stated earlier, the ministry said in a statement.
The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for a 3.8 per cent rise in March.
The ministry has expected the output index to rise 2.5-3.0 per cent this year after gaining 1.58 per cent last year.
In March, capacity utilisation at factories rose to 76.06 per cent from February's revised 70.53 per cent.
Industrial goods account for 80 per cent of exports, which in turn make up about two-thirds of the Thai economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia.