Thai industrial confidence rises six consecutive months


BANGKOK, June 20 – The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) in May rose for the sixth consecutive month to 106 from 104 in April, indicating that the industrial recovery from last year’s mega flood, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI Chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol on Wednesday announced that the rising figure in May reflected the surveyed industrial entrepreneurs’ expression of confidence in the expanding overall economy in accordance with improved domestic consumption and industrial operations which returned to normal after last year’s devastating flood.

But entrepreneurs remain worried over higher production costs, labour shortages and the country’s political situation, Mr Payungsak cautioned.

The industrial operators were also concerned, he said, at the impacts of the ongoing eurozone debt crisis which affected the exports of industrial products as foreign purchase orders and total sales edged down compared to April.

Meanwhile, the index in the next three months was projected to drop to 111.1 from 112.6 forecast in April owing to lower domestic and foreign total sales.

Most industrial operators advised that the government should suspend the Bt300 (US$10) national daily minimum wage implementation policy in 70 remaining provinces, introduce measures to assist entrepreneurs of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promote domestic consumption to offset falling exports and strengthen the country’s political stability.

Thailand’s automobile production in May significantly increased to 202,834 units, marking the highest level in 50 years and the first month that auto production reached 200,000 units.

FTI Automotive Industry Club spokesman Surapong Paisitpattanapong explained that the sharp increase, up from 105.29 per cent from the previous month, was because Thailand-based automakers resumed operations normally.

Total domestic automobile sales in May grew to 115,943 units, marking the highest level, while automobile exports climbed to more than 85,000 units.

As a result, Thailand is likely to be ranked sixth or seventh world’s largest automobile exporter with Mexico and Czech Republic being the major competitors, the Automotive Industry Club spokesman projected.