* Jan factory output +1.3 pct y/y vs +3.50 pct in Reuters
* Stronger output of electronics, steel and autos
* Jan capacity utilisation 60.46 pct vs Dec's 63.26 pct
BANGKOK, Feb 28 Thailand's industrial output
rose for a third straight month in January, boosted by steel and
electronics, but the increase fell short of expectations,
suggesting the economic recovery remains fragile.
The Industry Ministry said on Tuesday its manufacturing
production index (MPI) in January rose 1.3 percent from a year
earlier. A Reuters poll forecast a rise of 3.50 percent.
In December, output rose 0.54 percent from a year earlier.
Industrial goods accounted for around 80 percent of total
exports, which rose a less-than-expected 8.8 percent in January
from a year earlier after December's 6.2 percent increase,
customs data showed.
Exports historically are a key driver of Thai growth.
Capacity utilisation at factories dropped to 60.46 percent
in January from December's 63.26 percent.
The Bank of Thailand has forecast economic growth of 3.2
percent this year, with flat exports.
Data from Thailand's Office of Industrial Economics, part of
the Industry Ministry. (not seasonally adjusted)
Month Jan Dec Nov Oct Sept Aug
% change y/y +1.3 +0.54 +3.88 -0.02 +1.13 +3.18
% change m/m +3.1 -3.61 +2.13 -0.89 +1.29 +3.38
(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai
Sriring; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Gopakumar Warrier)