August 31, 2017 / 2:52 AM / in 10 months

Thai July factory output rises 3.73 pct y/y, above forecast

    BANGKOK, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Thailand's annual industrial
output rose in July, after a fall the previous month, helped by
stronger car engine and electronic production suggesting the
economic recovery is gaining momentum.
    The Industry Ministry said on Thursday the manufacturing
production index (MPI) in July rose 3.73 percent from a year
earlier, compared with the median forecast of a 3.15 percent
rise in a Reuters poll.
    June's index was revised to a 0.26 percent year-on-year fall
from a 0.16 percent dip.
    In the first seven month, the index was up 0.62 percent from
a year earlier.
    Capacity utilisation at factories in July fell to 60.22
percent from a revised 61.39 percent in June.
    Industrial goods accounted for about 80 percent of total
exports, which rose 10.5 percent in July from a year earlier,
customs data showed.
    Exports, a key driver of growth in Southeast Asia's
second-largest economy, have just recovered in 2017 after years
of poor performance.
    The Bank of Thailand has forecast economic growth of 3.5
percent this year, with exports rising 5 percent. The economy
expanded 3.2 percent last year, still lags its regional peers.
    Data from Thailand's Office of Industrial Economics, part of
the Industry Ministry. (not seasonally adjusted) 
 Month             Jul      Jun     May      Apr      Mar     Feb
 % change y/y    +3.73   -0.26*   +1.64     -1.8    +0.01   -1.09
 % change m/m    -2.22  -3.20**  +15.38   -20.03   +12.74   -0.50
 *Revised from -0.16 y/y 
 **Revised from -3.10 pct m/m     

 (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai
Sriring; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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