Industrial sentiment in January lowest in 55 months

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BANGKOK, Feb 20 – The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) in January plunged to its lowest point in 55 months, while economic figures also dropped in vehicle production, domestic car sales and exports.

Payungsak Chartsutipol, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) chairman, said TISI last month plunged to 86.9 from 88.3 in December last year. The index has been lower than 100 for the 19th consecutive month and

the lowest since June 2009 due to concerns regarding political problems, which Mr Payungsak said, if prolonged, will slow public consumption, small- and medium-sized enterprises and exporters even further.

Meanwhile, Surapong Paisitpattanapong, spokesman of FTI’s automotive industry group, said the number of vehicles manufactured last month reached 162,652 units, a drop of 31 per cent year-on-year, owing to no hassle on first time car-buyer scheme production.

The manufacturing figure in January, however, was 2 per cent higher than that of December last year, while total domestic car sales last month stood at 68,500 units, the lowest in 25 months, a 45-per cent drop year-on-year, as a result of the end of the first time car-buyer scheme, the sluggish economy, stricter lending guidelines by

financial institutions and lingering political problems.

He said motorcycle sales also dropped in January, a 30 per cent decrease, compared to the same period last year.

The number of cars exported last month stood around 81,000 units, a drop of 6.9 per cent year-on-year.