Revenue, car exports up, business confidence down in April

State revenue from tax collection rose and car exports were also up in April, but industry confidence was down on concerns about the baht’s strength and the global economic situation.

  • Published: 17/05/2013 at 03:55 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Government revenue from tax collection in April totalled 127.58 billion baht, exceeding the earlier estimate by 10.58 billion baht, or 9%, Somchai Sajjapongse, director general of the Fiscal Policy Office at the Finance Ministry, said on Friday.

He attributed the higher collections from individual and corporate income taxes and excise tax on cars to an increase in household income, business expansion and the government’s first-car scheme.

Mr Somchai said tax revenue collected over the first seven months of the 2013 fiscal year (Oct 2012-April 2013) stood at 1.1 trillion baht, 104 billion baht higher than the set target.

He was confident the revenue target of 2.1 trillion baht for fiscal 2013 would be achieved on the back of continuing economic expansion boosted by the government’s stimulus measures.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp workers assemble Mirage vehicles on the production line at the company's plant in Laem Chabang, Thailand, on July 13, 2012. (Bloomberg photo)

Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the Automotive Industry Club, said on Friday that a total of 67,641 vehicles were exported in April, up 22.02% on April 2012, but down 34.16% on March.

The export value for the month stood at 30.6 billion baht, up 15.43% on April 2012, said Mr Surapong.

Exports over the first four months of the year (Jan-April) totalled 351,607 units, up 27.32% on the same period last year. Export value was up 20.86% to stand at 156.24 billion baht.

Vehicle output in April stood at 170,438 units, up 17.40% on April 2012, but down 33.49% on March, due to fewer working days in the month.

Output over the first four months of the year amounted to 891.947 units, an increase of 38.39% on the same period last year.

Domestic car sales over the month totalled 109,658 units, an increase of 24.91% on April 2012, but a decline of 30.39% on March. Car sales over the first four months of the year stood at 522,914 units, up 42.44% on the same period last year.

Mr Surapong projected car output over the next three months (May-July) at 678,803 units, up 3.49% on the 655,922 units actual output from February to April 2013, and an increase of 7.39% on 632,088 units actual output from May to July 2012.

Payungsak Chartsutthipol (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

Payungsak Chartsuthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said on Friday that the Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) was down from 93.5 in March to 92.9 in April.

Industry confidence was down for the fourth straight month, and the fact the index remains below the 100 level shows low confidence overall in the industry sector, the FTI chief said.

Mr Payungsak attributed the drop in industry confidence to manufacturers’ concerns about the baht's strength when compared to other currencies in the region, which affected the export sector, and global economic fluctuations, all causing them problems when taking orders.

In addition, manufacturers had begun to import cheaper raw materials, turning away from higher priced domestic supplies. This affected the supply chain of the country’s upstream industry. At the same time there were no clear assistance measures from the state, he said.

Industry confidence for the next three months was also down, to 99.1 from 99.3 reported in March, 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 situation, 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 those of other countries in the region, particularly Thailand’s competitors.

Manufacturers also wanted the state to provide training courses for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the use of financial tools to prevent risk from the exchange rate, continue to boost domestic consumption, and find financial sources to provide low interest loans to ensure SMEs have sufficient liquidity, Mr Payungsak said.

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