Thailand’s industrial confidence index has fallen for the first time in five months with uncertainty in the global economic outlook being a reason to blame.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).FTI said statistics for the Industrial Confidence Index for January of this year showed it fell to 87.2 points from 88.5 in December 2016.
This is the first time that the index has fallen in a five-month period. Growing uncertainty over the global economic outlook was attributed primarily to the fall.
Other factors such as the planned minimum wage hike and the southern flood crisis also contributed to the drop in the index, FTI said.
Meanwhile automobile production figures for January 2017 rose by 3.12% over the same period last year.
This increase in production output was driven primarily by the increase in domestic demand which rose by 10.5%.
Automobile exports however contracted significantly by 14.5% falling to its lowest point in 19 months.This has been attributed to the drop in foreign demand for pickup trucks which saw a contraction in all of Thailand’s major markets.
Car exports for January drops 14.53 percent, the lowest in 19 months
The number of fully-assembled cars exported for the month of January was registered at 80,097 units, representing a drop of 14.53 percent compared to a month earlier which was the lowest in 19 months, said Mr Surapong Paisitpattanapong, vice chairman and spokesman of the automotive sector of the Federation of Thai Industries, on Thursday.
He noted that export of pickup trucks to all markets dropped with the exception of markets in Australia and northern America with the export value amounting to 41.42 billion baht, representing 18.1 percent decline.
Export of motorcycles, on the other hand, increased 18.85 percent to 152,000 units for the month of January compared to 135,000 units in December – an increase of 12.13 percent.
Production of cars for domestic market increased 17.62 percent to 55,322 units whereas motorcycle production for local consumption increased 7.65 percent to 220,000 units which are correspondence with the local automotive sale which increased 10.5 percent to 57,254 units.
Surapong said that car producers were worried that the drop in car export for the month of January might be an indicator that car exports for the whole year might fall below the projection of 1.2 million units.
Thailand’s economic growth expected to return to 2019 levels in mid-2023
Although the economy would recover next year, the recovery is still substantially below potential level resulting in a large output loss and could affect Thailand’s potential economic growth in the future with the economy expected to return to 2019 levels in mid-2023.
The Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), one of Thailand’s largest commercial banks, said in its latest economic outlook report that the country’s economy may wait until the second semester of 2023 to return to 2019 growth levels.(more…)
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