Trade surplus, industrial production on the rise

Economy October 27, 2017 11:51

By The Nation

Thailand’s trade surplus likely increased to US$3.8 billion (Bt126.45 billion) in September, up from $3.4 billion in August, according to the latest Moody Analytics Asia Pacific Economic Preview. 

It said Thai exports are likely to have surged thanks to strong demand for electronics. 

“Exports of electronics have risen 12.9 per cent year on year in the year to date to August, up from a 5.1-per-cent fall in the same period last year. Imports have also risen noticeably this year, largely on the back of an increase in demand for inputs for manufactured exports,” it said. 

“Capital goods imports have also strengthened and should stay firm as government-led infrastructure projects begin to ramp up. Meanwhile, imports of consumer goods are expected to remain relatively subdued, in line with muted consumer spending growth.”

Moody Analytics said Thailand’s industrial production likely ticked up 3.5 per cent year on year in September, after a 3.7-per-cent rise in August, thanks to firmer external demand this year. 

Electronics production has been a standout, in line with the strong tech cycle that has boosted exports elsewhere in the region. Although export manufacturing is doing well, weak private investment and consumer spending have held back locally oriented manufacturing.

It also said that private consumption is expected to have grown 2.1 per cent year on year in September, up marginally from 1.9 per cent in the prior month. 

“Solid services demand, backed by strong tourism and relatively firm durable goods demand, continues to underpin consumption growth. However, although consumer confidence has perked up in recent months and rose to a four-month high in September, we expect private consumption growth to remain subdued, in line with weak employment and wage growth. Elevated household debt is also likely to curb consumer spending.”