May 22, 2018 / 4:04 AM / in a month

Thai April exports rise 12.34 pct y/y, beat forecast

    BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) - Thailand's customs-cleared
exports grew at a faster pace in April from the previous month,
slightly above forecasts, as demand from key markets increased.
    Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, rose 12.34 percent in
April from a year earlier after increasing 7.06 percent in
March, commerce ministry data showed on Tuesday.
    That beat the median forecast of an 11.25 percent rise in a
Reuters poll.
    The gains were led by stronger shipments of cars and parts,
computers and accessories, and rubber products.
    Imports in April surged 20.36 percent from a year earlier
after rising 9.47 percent in March. The poll forecast was for a
13.35 percent jump.
    That resulted in a trade deficit of $1.28 billion in April,
far above a forecast of a $120 million deficit, and against a
surplus of $1.27 billion in March.
    In January-April, exports rose 11.53 percent from a year
earlier while imports increased 17.18 percent.
    The ministry targets export growth of 8 percent this year,
after a 9.9 percent rise last year.
                                   
 (Percentage change from a year earlier, in dollar terms;
figures may not add up exactly due to rounding):
       
                              April    March      Feb      Jan
 Exports (pct y/y)           +12.34    +7.06    +10.3    +17.6
 ($US bln)                    18.95    22.36    20.37    20.10
                                                              
 Imports (pct y/y)           +20.36    +9.47    +16.0    +24.3
 ($US bln)                    20.23    21.09    19.56    20.22
                                                              
 Trade balance ($US bln)      -1.28    +1.27    +0.81    -0.12
  ($1 = 32.2 baht)

    
 (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon
Writing by Orathai Sriring
Editing by Richard Borsuk and Sunil Nair)
  
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