April 30, 2018 / 3:57 AM / a year ago

Thai March factory output rises 2.62 pct, below forecast

    BANGKOK, April 30 (Reuters) - Thailand's annual industrial
output rose less than expected in March, but capital utilisation
was the highest in five years, boosted by higher production of
cars, car engines and petroleum, the industry ministry said on
    The manufacturing production index (MPI) in March increased
2.62 percent from a year earlier after February's 4.63 percent
increase, which was revised slightly down from 4.66 percent
stated earlier, the ministry said in a statement.
    The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for a 3.8 percent
rise in March.
    The ministry has expected the output index to rise 2.5-3.0
percent this year after gaining 1.58 percent last year.
    In March, capacity utilisation at factories rose to 76.06
percent from February's revised 70.53 percent.
    Industrial goods account for 80 percent of exports, which in
turn make up about two-thirds of the Thai economy, the
second-largest in Southeast Asia.
    Data from the Industry Ministry's Office of Industrial
Economics: (not seasonally adjusted)
 Month            March       Feb       Jan       Dec      Nov
 % change y/y     +2.62    +4.63*     +4.70     +5.80    +6.29
 % change m/m     +9.87    -0.06*     +5.01     -3.24    +6.53
 * Revised  

 (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon
Writing by Orathai Sriring
Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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