Tourism, export growth drives up production index
Thailand's Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) increased by 3.36% year-on-year to 97.9 points in September, thanks to bustling economic activities, especially in the tourism and export sectors.
Exports enjoyed growth while tourism continued to recover, said Warawan Chitaroon, permanent secretary for industry and acting director-general of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE).
"The tourism industry played an important role in boosting the economy, following the reopening of the country late last year," she said.
As a result, manufacturers saw more demand for goods related to tourism, including beer, clothing, bags, shoes and jewellery.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking said earlier that the tourism sector could boost people's purchasing power, eventually helping to drive the economy.
Industry analysts expect the number of tourist arrivals to reach 9-10 million this year.
"The state economic stimulus programmes also helped support business activities," Mrs Warawan said.
According to the OIE, the MPI in the third quarter also increased. From July to September, the index rose by 8.06% year-on-year to 97.75 points.
In the first nine months of this year, the MPI increased by 2.83% year-on-year to 99.63 points.
Car manufacturing in September expanded by 25.9% year-on-year due to higher demand in the pickup and diesel-powered car segments.
Motorcycle production in the same month also soared by 72.6% year-on-year, thanks to higher sales amid the recovering economy.
Cars and motorcycles were among the industries that drove the September MPI.
Petroleum production also rose by 21.6% year-on-year that month, following higher demand for jet oil and diesel after the government reopened the country.
The OIE expects to see the MPI continue to increase in October because the country's economy is forecast to stay on a recovery path, with tourism, stimulus packages and exports set to be key economic drivers.
However, the office is closely monitoring negative factors that may affect the economy. They include high energy prices and the US Federal Reserve's policy of hiking interest rates to deal with high inflation.