Manufacturing Production Index drops year-on-year in January

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Thailand’s Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) in January dropped year-on-year due to exports and internal politics that have pressured purchasing power.

Somchai Harnhiran, director of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) said the MPI last month stood at 169.50, a contraction of 6.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

The OIE indicated that the country’s political stalemate has affected consumers’ confidence, purchasing power and overseas goods orders, for customers were concerned about possible goods distribution delays, having affected businesses of several industries such as automobiles, iron and steel, electrical and electronics and textiles and garments.

Somchai said car production in January was forecast to reach only 155,000 units, a drop of 54 percent, of which 67,000 units were for domestic sale and 88,000 units for export.

Meanwhile, the electrical and electronics industry expanded, thanks to more exports of hard disk drives to major markets such as the US, the EU and ASEAN.

Thailand’s 2013 GDP in the industrial sector grew only 0.1 percent, while in Q4 it contracted 2.9 percent as a result of the end of the first-car buyer scheme, lower household consumption and lower exports of industrial goods.