A recovery in export orders should lift industrial sector growth to between 4.5% and 5.5% next year, after a 5.9% slide this year, says the Industry Ministry.
The ministry bases its forecast on GDP growth of 3.1%, crude averaging $68 per barrel, the baht at 35.5 per dollar, and on World Bank projections of demand from Thailand’s top 14 trading partners.
“We made it a bit conservative because the Map Ta Phut issue should drag investment sentiment slightly,” said Suttinee Poopaka, director-general of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE).
Capacity utilisation is forecast to rise from 56.4% this year to 63% next year, close to 62.6% recorded in 2007. Export orders reflect demand spurred by government stimulus packages, she said.