Thai Aug factory output falls 9.34%, smaller drop than forecast

BANGKOK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Thailand’s manufacturing production index (MPI) dropped a smaller-than-expected 9.34% in August from a year earlier, led by lower production of cars and hard disk drives amid the coronavirus outbreak, the industry ministry said on Wednesday.

That compares with a forecast for a decline of 12.55% in a Reuters poll, and against July’s revised contraction of 12.93%.

Capacity utilisation in August was 60.69% after July’s revised 57.58%.

The ministry expects the MPI index will fall by 8%-9% this year, it has forecast.

Industrial goods account for 80% of total exports, a key driver of Thai growth. (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Ed Davies)