Factory output unexpectedly rises for first time in 19 months
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Factory output unexpectedly rises for first time in 19 months

Thailand's manufacturing production index unexpectedly rose 3.43% in April from a year earlier, increasing for the first time in 19 months, helped by higher exports and tourism, the Industry Ministry said on Thursday.

The figure compared with a forecast of a 1.1% year-on-year fall for April in a Reuters poll and followed an annual decrease of 5.13% in March.

The output rise in April, the first monthly increase since September 2022, was also due to a low base last year, Siripen Kiatfuengfoo, deputy director-general of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE), told a news conference.

"It's good news. It's the first month of growth after 18 consecutive months of contraction," she added.

Factory output for the January-April period dropped 2.06% and is expected to rise between 0% to 1% for the full year, the ministry said.

Thailand received 14.33 million foreign visitors between Jan 1 and May 26, up 38% year-on-year, with 2.8 million Chinese visitors and overall spending of 683 billion baht, according to tourism ministry data.

The country's exports returned to growth in April, and at a much faster pace than analysts' expectations, and the Commerce Ministry expected shipments to post a small gain in the second quarter.

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