Factory output unexpecedly dips in March
published : 28 Apr 2022 at 11:15
updated: 28 Apr 2022 at 14:36
Thailand's factory output unexpectedly dipped in March as higher inflation started to affect industry, while the Russia-Ukraine war remains a key risk, the industry ministry said on Thursday.
The manufacturing production index (MPI) fell 0.1% in March from a year earlier, the first drop in seven months, missing a forecast rise of 2.15% in a Reuters poll and against February's 2.5% increase.
March's output was weighed by lower production of air conditioners, hard disk drives, and non-alcoholic beverages, the ministry said. In the January-March period, the MPI rose 1.41% from a year earlier.
"April (output) may be stable or positive as it was just a little negative last month. We have to wait and see if the war situation will drag on," ministry official Thongchai Chawalitpichaet told a briefing, referring to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a "special operation".
However, the output is underpinned by improved economic activity following an easing of COVID-19 curbs while a weak baht is a further boost to exports manufacturing, he said.
Exports rose 19.5% in March from a year earlier, with industrial goods accounting for 82% of the total shipments.