Thailand’s MPI shows contracted growth in Q1/2013

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BANGKOK, 10 May 2013 Thailand’s manufacturing activity has suffered a contracted growth during the last quarter of 2012. 

Director General of the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) Somchai Harnhirun revealed on Thursday that the country’s Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) expanded 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013. However, the latest growth rate is a contraction from the 43.8-percent record in the last quarter of 2012.

Mr. Somchai said the country’s MPI will likely expand by 3.5-4.5 percent this year, providing that the index picked up more significantly in the latter half of the year.

He said that such a positive outlook is due to the fact that new products are usually introduced during the second half of the year in order to accommodate rising demand and sales in the fourth quarter.

The OIE Director General stated that the prediction was based on an assumption that the Thai currency will be trading at an average of 30.8 baht per US dollar and the country’s manufacturing sector has returned to the post-2011 flood crisis level.

He added that, with the implementation of the government’s “First Car” policy in late 2012, the auto industry will likely produce about 2.8 million vehicles this year, a 14.8-percent on-year rise.

For the industrial sector’s GDP growth, the OIE forecast the average rate of 5.5 percent for 2013.

Mr. Somchai also noted that Thailand will likely experience some risk factors before the end of the year, including a slowdown in the exports that will be in accordance with the global economic conditions, the rising cost as a result of the new daily minimum wage and the pressure from the QE policy implementation by the US and Japan.