Thailand: Manufacturing output dips to five-month low in March
In the final month of the first quarter, industrial output growth moderated from 4.6% year-on-year in February to 2.6%. The result surprised market analysts on the downside, who had expected a softer slowdown to 3.8% annual growth. The easing of momentum came on the back of a noticeable contraction in the manufacture of rubber and plastics products, which was partially offset by robust expansions in the output of food products; motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers; and, chemicals and chemical products. March’s result marked the softest pace of expansion since October 2017, and as a result average industrial production growth slowed from 4.4% in the fourth quarter of last year to 4.0% in the first quarter of this year.
In seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms, manufacturing production swung from the prior month’s revised 0.7% expansion (previously reported: +0.6% month-on-month) to a 0.3% contraction in March. Finally, annual average growth in manufacturing output crept up from 3.4% in February to 3.5% in March.