Thai Industrial Confidence Index hits 26-month low in September

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BANGKOK, Oct 21 — Thailand’s Industrial Confidence Index in September fell to 90.7 from 102.5 in August, marking its lowest showing in 26 months, according to a survey by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI Chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol on Friday said the sharp drop mainly resulted from entrepreneurs’ concern over severe flooding in Thailand’s northern, northeastern and central regions. The floods has hard hit and damaged several major economic zones and industrial estates as well as disrupted traffic and transportation.

Apart from the country’s worst inundation in decades, the decline in the index was owing to the business operators’ concerns over fluctuation of the global economy, rising cost of production and related impacts from the government’s policy and a post-flood rehabilitation plan.

The September index, which stood below 100, indicated that those entrepreneurs were less confident in doing business, according to Mr Payungsak.

Meanwhile, the industrial confidence index in the next three months is projected to decline to 94.0 from 110.0 in August as the industrial sector entrepreneurs proforecast that the total purchase and sales orders, productions, production cost and profits would drop, the FTI chairman explained.

In addition, the regional industrial confidence index in the country’s central, northern, northeastern and southern parts fell in September, compared to the previous month.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s auto sales in September totalled 87,012 units, an increase of 10.08 per cent from the previous month and a 27.5 per cent increase year-on-year, according to Surapong Paisitpattanapong, auto industry spokesman for the FTI.

In the first nine months of this year, total auto sales reached 670,969 units, up 20.6 per cent year-on-year.

The auto production in September totalled 174,212 units, an increase of 23.19 per cent, compared to the same period last year and a 13.73 per cent increase from the previous month, marking the highest record since 1961.

Total auto production in this year’s first nine months was recorded at 1,285,235 units, up 7.35 per cent year-on-year.

Motorcycle sales in September hit 172,176 units, an increase of 13 per cent year-on-year but a 9.72 per cent drop from August, while total sales in the first nine months was over 1.6 million units, according to the spokesman.

The motorcycle production in September totalled 286,006 units, an increase of 21.73 per cent from the same period last year. Motorcycle production from Jan-Sept 2011 totalled more than 2.49 million units, an increase of 28.14 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, automobile exports in September were recorded at 90,654 units, up 11.48 per cent from a year earlier, valued at over Bt57.1 billion. September exports marked the highest on record since 1988.