Thai industrial sentiment at near 3-year high in September on tourism rebound

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THAILAND'S industrial sentiment rose for a fourth straight month in September, reaching the highest level in 32 months, bolstered by improved domestic demand and a recovery in the crucial tourism sector, an industries group said on Wednesday (Oct 12).

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said its industries sentiment index rose to 91.8 in September from 90.5 in the previous month.

Sentiment was also boosted by a weak baht, which hovered at 16-year low against the US dollar, FTI chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul said in a statement.

The sentiment index, however, was still below 100, which means it was still suboptimal, and remained under pressure from rising prices of energy and materials, supply shortages and a global economic slowdown, he said.

An index that projects industrial sentiment over the next three month increased to 101.8 in September from 99.5 in August.

"Entrepreneurs see the economy improving steadily mainly on a pick-up in tourism, but higher costs remain a risk," Kriengkrai said.

South-east Asia's second-largest economy is expected to grow up to 3.5 per cent this year, compared with 1.5 per cent last year, Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said last week.

A separate survey earlier on Wednesday showed consumers had more confidence but they remained cautious on spending as the economy was recovering slowly. REUTERS



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