BANGKOK, June 21 (Reuters) - Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports rose at a faster pace in May from the previous month, and more than forecast, commerce ministry data showed on Thursday.
Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, rose 11.44 percent in May from a year earlier after jumping 12.34 percent in April,
That beat the median forecast of an increase of 9.8 percent in a Reuters poll.
The export gains were led by higher shipments of cars and parts, computers and accessories, rubber products and plastic pellets, the ministry said.
In May, imports rose 11.72 percent year-on-year after surging 20.36 percent in April. The poll forecast was for a 14.95 percent rise.
That resulted in a trade surplus of $1.20 billion in May, compared with a forecast of a $40 million surplus, and against April’s $1.28 billion deficit.
In January-May, exports rose 11.55 percent from a year earlier while imports jumped 16.60 percent.
The ministry is confident of achieving its export growth target of 8 percent this year, an official said, after a 9.9 percent jump last year. ($1 = 32.8 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Sunil Nair)