Thai Factory Production Falls Unexpectedly in May Due amid Declining in Car Output

According to Thailand’s industry ministry, the manufacturing production index experienced an unexpected drop of 1.54% in May compared to the same period last year. This decline was attributed to lower car manufacturing and increased energy expenses.

The decrease contrasted with the 1.35% growth forecasted in a Reuters survey for May and followed a revised 2.69% yearly increase in April, marking the first rise in 19 months.

For the January-May period, factory output witnessed a 2.08% decrease year-on-year. In the previous month, the ministry had indicated expectations of a 0% to 1% uptick in production for 2024.

Car production specifically recorded a tenth consecutive monthly decline in May, impacted by diminishing purchasing capabilities due to escalating household debt and rising energy prices.

Data from the Federation of Thai Industries earlier in the week indicated a 16.2% annual fall in car production for May. However, the industry ministry highlighted that increased exports of industrial goods, a robust tourism sector, and government expenditures have been supporting manufacturing output.

Thailand’s export sector, a crucial economic driver, saw a 7.2% increase in May compared to the prior year, marking the largest surge in four months based on data from the commerce ministry.

Furthermore, foreign tourist arrivals up to June 23 in 2024 spiked 36% to 16.84 million visitors year-on-year, with expenditures totaling 795 billion baht ($21.6 billion), as reported by the tourism ministry.