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Thai March factory output dips 0.53 pct y/y, smaller decline than forecast
April 28, 2017 / 3:08 AM / 8 months ago

Thai March factory output dips 0.53 pct y/y, smaller decline than forecast

    * March factory output -0.53 pct y/y vs -1.65 pct in Reuters
    * Weaker production of autos and jewellery
    * Capacity utilisation at 67.09 pct vs Feb's revised 59.97
    * Q1 factory output +0.1 pct y/y

    BANGKOK, April 28 (Reuters) - Thailand's industrial output
declined for a second straight month, less than expected, due to
weaker production of autos and jewellery, suggesting the
economic recovery remains fragile.
    The Industry Ministry said on Friday its manufacturing
production index (MPI) in March dropped 0.53 percent from a year
earlier. A Reuters poll had forecast a fall of 1.65 percent.

    In February, the index fell a revised 1.09 percent from a
year earlier.
    Capacity utilisation at factories rose to 67.09 percent in
March from a revised 59.97 percent in February.
    Industrial goods accounted for 80 percent of total exports,
which jumped 9.2 percent in March from a year earlier despite
falling car exports, customs data showed.
    Exports, which account for about two-thirds of Thailand's
economy, are traditionally a key driver of the country's growth.
    The Bank of Thailand has forecast the economy will grow 3.4
percent this year and exports to increase 2.2 percent.
    Southeast Asia's second-largest economy expanded 3.2 percent
last year.
    Data from Thailand's Office of Industrial Economics, part of
the Industry Ministry. (not seasonally adjusted) 
 Month             Mar     Feb      Jan      Dec     Nov     Oct
 % change y/y    -0.53  -1.09*    +2.19    +0.54   +3.88   -0.02
 % change m/m   +12.13  -0.50*    +3.91    -3.61   +2.13   -0.89
 *Revised from -1.5 pct y/y
 **Revised from -0.91 pct m/m

 (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai
Sriring; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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