Thailand’s industrial output rose for a third straight month in May but recovery remains fragile with both exports and domestic consumption sluggish.The manufacturing production index in May rose 2.6 per cent from a year earlier. In April, output rose a revised 0.89 per cent from a year earlier, instead of the 1.54 per cent reported a month earlier. Industrial goods accounted for nearly 79 per cent of total exports in May, which declined 4.4 per cent from a year earlier. May's output increase was led by autos, air conditioners and rubber products.
Capacity utilisation was at 67.45 per cent in May, up from April's revised 59.52 per cent. Exports have contracted in each of the past three years. Shipments are forecast to fall 2.5 per cent this year, down from a two per cent drop projected earlier, while the economy is expected to grow 3.1 per cent.
Thailand is an export oriented economy with exports accounting for around 65 per cent of the GDP. The country mainly exports manufactured goods, electronics, machinery and equipment and foodstuffs. Agricultural goods, mainly rice and rubber, account for eight per cent of total shipments. Its major export partners are China, Japan, the United States and the European Union. Others are Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.