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Thai Sept consumption, investment rise
[BANGKOK] Thailand's private consumption and investment picked up in September from the previous month, central bank indexes showed on Monday, suggesting the economy was growing slowly.
The Bank of Thailand's private consumption index for September was up 0.1 per cent from August, during which it fell 0.2 per cent.
Its index for private investment increased 0.8 in September from August, during which it increased 0.5 per cent.
The central bank said the country had a current account surplus of US$2.93 billion in September after a US$3.81 billion surplus in August.
Exports, based on financial settlements, in September increased 3.5 per cent from a year earlier after a 2.7 per cent gain in August, the central bank said.
Earlier customs-cleared data showed August exports unexpectedly rose 3.4 per cent from a year earlier.
Exports, worth two-thirds of the economy, have declined in each of the past three years.
The central bank has expected exports to fall 2.5 per cent this year, but Deputy Governor Mathee Supapongse told Reuters last week they might perform better than forecast.
The economy in the third quarter is expected to have grown close to or slightly slower than the June quarter's pace of 3.5 per cent year-on-year, but was better than the central bank had projected, senior director Roong Mallikamas of the Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy Department told reporters.
The central bank has predicted economic growth of 3.2 per cent this year and again in 2017. Last year's growth was 2.8 per cent.