MPI records 6.03% rise in January
Thailand's manufacturing production index (MPI) in January rose by 6.03% to 101.82 from 96.03 points in December amid the new Covid-19 outbreak as officials expect better economic prospects in the months ahead following the recent delivery of vaccines.
Plastic bead manufacturing, which increased by 10.8% year-on-year, was among the industries that boosted the MPI in January due mainly to work-from-home guidelines that stimulated demand for packaging products, according to the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE).
The government's stimulus packages, including the co-payment scheme, also played an important role in increasing people's purchasing power and building confidence among businesses.
"The second wave of the pandemic during December 2020 to January 2021 affected the economy only for a short time," OIE chief Thongchai Chawalitpichaet said yesterday.
"Now Thailand has the vaccines. This is a positive factor to stimulate the economy."
However, economic recovery will also depend on vaccine supplies being managed and distributed efficiently to reach all target groups of people and provinces, said Mr Thongchai.
OIE expects the global economy will continually recover because many countries, which received the vaccines, have started distributing them at a time governments are relaxing lockdown measures. This will eventually improve international trade.
Thailand also expects to see more tourist arrivals later this year to help its tourism industry get through the crisis, following international travel restrictions to contain the virus.
The manufacturing capacity utilisation rate in January increased to 66.4%, the highest in 10 months after a drop from 67.7% in March last year, according to OIE.