Industry confidence rises in December

The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) was up for the second straight month, from 95.2 in November to 98.8 in December, Payungsak Chartsuthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said on Friday.

The FTI’s industry confidence survey was conducted in December but the FTI chief did not provide details on how many manufacturers were involved.

Mr Payungsak attributed the improvement in industry confidence to rising demand for goods and services boosted by the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The international motor expo, the government’s first time car-buyer scheme, which spurred demand for new vehicles, and the continued export expansion over the month were also factors.

However, the industry confidence figure remained below the 100 level, showing low confidence overall in the industry sector, he said.

Negative factors that could erode manufacturers’ confidence included the government’s 300 baht daily minimum wage nationwide policy, which took effect from Jan 1, and the persistent labour shortage.

Industry confidence over the next three months also increased, to 100.6 from 99.6 reported in November, on the back of rising orders, overall sales outlook, output and business performance.

The survey showed that industrial manufacturers were concerned about the impact of rising oil prices, global economic crisis, internal political conflict, foreign exchange rates and loan rates.

They wanted the government to hold both domestic and overseas trade fairs to promote sales of products of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and to delay its plans to raise electricity charges via the fuel tariff (FT) and float the price of liquefied petroleum gas because this would add to production costs.

The government should also help compensate for the increased daily wage for manufacturers over two years to allow them to adjust to the new rate, and find new export markets for exporters affected by the US economic slowdown and European debt crisis.

Related search: TISI, industry confidence, Federation of Thai Industries

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