March factory output rises for first time in nearly 2 years

March factory output rises for first time in nearly 2 years

The manufacturing production index in March rose 4.12% year-on-year and the Industry Ministry expects it to continue to increase this year. (Photo: Reuters)
The manufacturing production index in March rose 4.12% year-on-year and the Industry Ministry expects it to continue to increase this year. (Photo: Reuters)

The manufacturing production index (MPI) in March rose for the first time in 23 month, due to improved global demand and a low base effect, and is likely to increase again in April, the Industry Ministry said on Wednesday.

The MPI's rise of 4.12% from a year earlier was also its fastest pace in 29 months, although slightly below a forecast for a 4.4% increase in a Reuters poll.

While a third wave of Covid-19 infections has slowed economic activity, the manufacturing sector has not been affected, Office of Industrial Economics director-general Thongchai Chawalitpichaet told a briefing.

"Production is going as usual. The global economy is also improving with exports sharply rising," he said, adding the MPI in April should show further growth from a low base last year.

Capacity utilisation in March rose to 69.59% from 65.06% in the previous month, the ministry said.

The ministry still expects the MPI to rise by 2% to 3% this year after slumping 9.3% last year.

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