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Thailand Industry September 2020

Thailand: Manufacturing activity growth ebbs in September

Manufacturing output expanded 3.7% on a month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms in September, which followed August’s 3.9% increase. The mild slowdown was primarily driven by a moderation in the growth of automobile production.

On an annual basis, manufacturing production fell 2.8% in September, moderating notably from August’s 9.1% fall and marking the best result since April 2019. Moreover, the trend improved modestly, with the annual average variation of manufacturing production coming in at minus 10.3%, up from August’s minus 10.5% reading.

Commenting on the results, Prakash Sakpal, senior economist at ING, said:

“The good news is that things are improving, but the bad news is that the path is going to be rough given growing downside risk to the economy from ongoing political turmoil. 3Q20 manufacturing growth of -8.3% YoY was a sharp improvement from -20.0% in 2Q, which supports our forecast of a smaller 3Q GDP decline, -8.2% YoY instead of -12.2% in the previous quarter. The persistently weak service sector and seasonal agriculture weakness, however, impart downside risk to our 3Q GDP view.”

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