Industrial sentiment hits lowest point since March 2020

Thailand’s industrial sentiment index in July dipped to a 16-month low, dragged down as Covid-19 infections continued to rise despite semi-lockdown measures, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said Monday.

The index, based on a survey of 1,386 businesses across sectors, fell for a fourth consecutive month to 78.9 points, down from 80.7 points in June.

The government’s semi-lockdown measures were “ineffective” in reducing the infections, FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told a briefing.

With Covid-19 clusters from factory workers, many plants’ production capacity was hampered as some plants had to temporarily close for disinfection with workers being detained, posing labor shortfalls, Supant said.

According to the FTI, more than 1,000 factories have reported Covid-19 cases so far.

The three-month sentiment index, for the likely situation up to October, fell to 89.3 points from 90.8 a month earlier as manufacturers predicted the pandemic will still be dominant in the future.

The FTI called on the government to expedite the vaccine distribution in the manufacturing sector where the number of immunized workers is relatively low, as well as to roll out relief packages for small and medium-sizd enterprises.

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