MPI rises to highest levels since October 2018

Thailand’s manufacturing production index (MPI) in March jumped 4.12 per cent year-on-year to 107.73 points, recording the highest output since October 2018, the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) said Wednesday.

The rise reflected the low base level from last year, as well as global recovery in the industrial sector from vaccines distribution, and the government’s stimulus packages, said OIE chief Thongchai Chawalitpichaet.

For the overall output for the first quarter, MPI rose 0.25 per cent year-on-year. The capacity utilization rate in March stood at 69.59 per cent, up from 65.08 per cent in February.

The expanding industries from last year were automobile and auto parts, which rose 7.53 per cent, steel manufacturing gaining 19.19 per cent, sugar jumping 26.89 per cent, furniture surging 42.76 per cent, and pet food rising 15.48 per cent, said the OIE.

Thongchai added that the current Covid-19 outbreak would slow down the economy in April, however, he expected the MPI to keep posting year-on-year gains following the low base effect last year coupled with a bullish outlook for the export sector.

In February, the MPI fell 1.08 per cent year-on-year to 99.68 points.

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