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New orders push up industry confidence

Apr 23. 2019
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By The Nation

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The industry confidence index in March rose to 96.3 from 95.6 in February, thanks to a rise in the value of new orders in auto, construction, printing and food sectors, the Federation of Thai Industries chairman, Supant Mongkolsuthree, said yesterday.

The survey covered 1,207 firms from a combined 45 industries nationwide.

This is the third month showing a rise in the confidence index, reflecting increasing domestic consumption after a promotion campaign by producers that boosted production orders in auto, construction, printing and food sectors. Most producers also speeded up production before the long weekend in April this year.

However, most industry owners have continuing concerns about the country’s politics after the election, amid uncertainty over who will form 

 the government.

“Most of them need to know when we will have the new government from the election in this period of slower global economic growth, as they also want to know about the policy to drive the country’s economic growth. If we have a 

 new government as soon as possible, that will boost the country’s economic growth,” Supant said.

With the political uncertainty, the industry confidence index for the next three months, which was forecast in March this year, was down to 104.2 from the 105.4 forecast in February this year. Most industries are concerned about the country’s politics, the dip in the global economy and the trend to increased minimum wages.

Meanwhile, March this year showed record high car production, achieving 198,821 units, which is the highest in 68 months. About 52.23 per cent of total March production, or 103,838 units, were for export, with the remaining 94,983 units or about 47.77 per cent, for the domestic market.

The export volume recorded 117,708 units, the highest in 18 months, up 8.5 per cent, or 103,164 units from the same month last year. 

The value of Thailand’s food exports in the first quarter this year was Bt275.119 billion, up 0.47 per cent annually in baht terms, or US$8.708 billion, up 0.92 per cent annually in US dollar terms.

The value last year was Bt1.148 trillion, up 1.43 per cent annually or $35.822 billion, up 7.05 per cent annually, according to yesterday’s release from Federation of Thai Industries.

The country’s food exports since 2015 through last year had risen every year with an average annual growth rate of 3 per cent.

 

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