Industries sentiment rises for first time in 6 months

Industries sentiment rises for first time in 6 months

Planes are seen parked at Suvarnabhumi airport on July 19, 2021. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Planes are seen parked at Suvarnabhumi airport on July 19, 2021. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Thailand's industries sentiment rose for the first time in six months in September thanks to an easing of coronavirus restrictions, while reopening plans should bolster the mood further, an industries group said on Tuesday.

The curbs were relaxed in September to help spur activity. On Monday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said quarantine requirements for some vaccinated visitors from Nov 1 would be waived, which sent tourism-related shares soaring on Tuesday.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said its industries sentiment index increased to 79.0 in September, a three-month high, from 76.8 in the previous month.

An index projecting sentiment over the next three months climbed to 93.0 in September from 90.9 in August, also lifted by vaccine rollout progress and reopening plans, the FTI said.

"After the relaxation of curbs, industries sentiment quickly bounced back and we believe tourism businesses will start moving," FTI Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told a briefing.

"Thailand remains an attractive destination for travel and other investment," he said, adding that welcoming more foreign visitors was necessary to revive a key industry that generally accounts for more than 10% of gross domestic product.

The FTI urged the government to further relax restrictions and introduce additional stimulus measures to boost consumption while helping provide liquidity to businesses.

The group said rising oil prices were a concern, while a 10.5% fall in the baht against the dollar so far this year was good for exports, a rare bright spot in the economy.

The FTI forecast the economy to grow between zero and 1% this year, after last year's 6.1% contraction. 

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