Industry confidence down in March

The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) was down from 95.5 in February to 93.5 in March, Payungsak Chartsuthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said on Thursday.

  • Published: 18/04/2013 at 01:31 PM
  • Newspaper section: news

Industry confidence was down for the third straight month, the FTI chief said.

Mr Payungsak attributed the drop in industry confidence to declining overall orders, sales volume, output, rising cost of production and manufacturers’ concerns over the slow global economic recovery.

The baht's appreciation and high cost of energy were other factors in keeping the confidence of manufacturers below the 100 level, showing low confidence overall in the industry sector, he added.

In addition, manufacturers were worried in March by the looming disruption of the natural gas supply from Myanmar from April 5-14, and the severe drought in the North and Northeast had reduced farm output of raw materials for the agricultural processing industry.

Industry confidence for the next three months was also down, to 99.3 from 103.1 reported in February, on the back of declining overall orders, sales outlook, output and business performance.

The manufacturers were most concerned about the foreign exchange rate, followed by the global economic crisis, oil prices, internal political conflict and loan rates.

They wanted the government to step in to stabilise the value of the Thai currency to stop it from strengthening more than Thailand’s competitors. It should also continue to promote energy saving and more use of alternative energy in the industry sector.

Manufacturers also wanted the government to promote the development of production technology and workers'  skills and to systematically resolve the problems of unstable prices, quantity and quality of agricultural products from upstream to downstream.

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