Industry sentiment at 17-month low

Industry sentiment at 17-month low

Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) for October hit its lowest level in 17 months, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) reported on Wednesday.

The TISI in October stood at 91.2 points, down from 92.1 in September, as businesses worried about a contraction of purchasing orders in provincial areas and the prolonged US-China trade war.

FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said companies were worried about both internal and external economic situations. The suspension of benefits under the US  Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), effective in April next year would limit the country's competitiveness in the American market, he said.

In addition, there were myriad other risks pressuring economic sentiment, largely in the export sector. The strong baht was downbeat for exports in value terms, Mr Supant said.

SMEs were suffering their own problems as financial institutions tightened loan conditions, he said.

Seasonal purchasing in the fourth quarter was the only positive factor for the economy, with the government's Chim, Shop, Chai (taste, shop, spend) cash giveaway and rebates campaign expected to stimulate consumerism in the quarter.

The FTI forecast is for the TISI to reach 102.9 over the next three months, down from 103.4 points  previously estimated.

The TISI survey in October involved 1,211 companies in 45 industries.

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