Feb factory output falls despite Covid containment

Feb factory output falls despite Covid containment

Craft beer brewers protest outside the Interior Ministry following a ban on alcohol sales at restaurants to help contain the spread of Covid-19. Beverage production, including beer, decreased by 26.22% year-on-year in February. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Craft beer brewers protest outside the Interior Ministry following a ban on alcohol sales at restaurants to help contain the spread of Covid-19. Beverage production, including beer, decreased by 26.22% year-on-year in February. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The manufacturing production index (MPI) for February was down 1.08% from a year earlier, weighed down by lower oil production, the Industry Ministry said on Wednesday.

MPI fell from 104.75 points in February 2020 to 99.68 last month. The index had also declined by 2.87% in January.

The economist was optimistic, however, about that the outlook through the rest of this year would improve due to the government's economic stimulus packages, Covid-19 vaccinations and a plan to reopen parts of the country to foreign tourists in the third quarter.

The economist was optimistic, however, about that the outlook through the rest of this year would improve on the state economic stimulus packages, Covid-19 vaccination and a plan to reopen parts of the country to foreign tourists in the third quarter.

Authorities restricted travel, closed entertainment venues and imposed other restrictions after Covid-19 broke out in Samut Sakhon in mid-December.

The capacity utilisation rate in February decreased to 65.08% from 66.6% in January, according to OIE.

Beverage production, including beer, decreased by 26.22% year-on-year because of the strict measures to contain the outbreak, including a ban on sales of alcoholic beverages in restaurants.

Garment manufacture decreased by 33.32% year-on-year after overseas buyers delayed new orders due to weak purchasing power.

Petroleum production also fell by 18.48% year-on-year, mainly due an to oil refinery shutdown for maintenance and a continuing slowdown in the aviation industry.

Growing demand in the automotive industry played a key role in increasing production of electronics and circuit boards by 16.3% year-on-year.

In the automotive and engineering sectors, production increased by 4.97% year-on-year thanks to rising sales of pickup trucks and diesel engines.

Plastic bead production increased by 16.43% year-on-year, partly driven by higher sales of cars, home appliances and packaging products.

Output in March is expected to rise due to a low base effect, the ministry said.

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