MPI sees increase in September

MPI sees increase in September

Thailand's manufacturing production index (MPI) gained momentum in September, increasing by 3.25% to 94.7 points from August, with household equipment and furniture among businesses that see bright prospects, says the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE).

The gradual increase in MPI for the fifth consecutive month reflects the better situation in the manufacturing sector officials believe is approaching towards the pre-Covid-19 period.

However, compared with the 2019 index, the September MPI decreased by 2.75% year-on-year.

OIE chief Thongchai Chawalitpichaet said yesterday industry improvement is caused by a range of factors from lockdown easing to the relocation of production bases and greater demand for certain products during the pandemic.

Household item industry expanded by 34% year-on-year. More domestic and overseas demand was seen in the refrigerator segment while manufacturers' decision to relocate production facilities from China to Thailand since June also increased refrigerator output in September, according to OIE.

Washing machine producers also received more orders domestically after they opened a new marketing channel to sell their products. Malaysia and Japan were their key overseas markets.

The furniture industry also expanded by 13.1% year-on-year. Manufacturers increased production to meet more purchase orders from the US and Japan, where demand for the items rose as a result of stay-at-home guidelines during the pandemic.

However, because Covid-19 rates remain high in many countries, international trade will remain sluggish.

"That's why Thailand needs to focus more on domestic consumption," said Mr Thongchai.

The government should also take advantage of low Covid-19 cases in the country to attract more foreign investors, he suggested.

Capacity utilisation in September stood at 60.8%, marginally up from 60% in August.

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