BANGKOK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports in July grew slightly more than the previous month, but lower than forecast, commerce ministry data showed on Wednesday.
Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, rose 8.27 percent in July from a year earlier, after growing 8.19 percent in June.
The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for an increase of 9.8 percent.
Exports were driven by higher shipments of cars and parts, computers and accessories, and rubber products, the ministry said. However, exports of machinery and parts fell.
In July, imports rose 10.53 percent year-on-year after climbing 10.83 percent in June. The poll forecast was for a 10.05 percent rise.
That resulted in a trade deficit of $0.52 billion in July, compared with a forecast $0.15 billion surplus, and against June’s $1.58 billion surplus.
In January-July, exports rose 10.57 percent from a year earlier while imports jumped 14.84 percent.
On Monday, the state planning agency, the National Economic and Social Development, raised its export growth forecast to 10 percent this year from 8.9 percent.
Exports rose 9.9 percent last year. ($1 = 32.7 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)