Thailand’s Manufacturing Sector Improves at Near-Record Pace in July

ASEAN member state Thailand saw in July its second-fastest expansion of manufacturing production on record as business conditions improved for a seventh month in a row, the S&P Global Thailand Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) showed on 1 August. 

The headline seasonally adjusted manufacturing PMI rose from 50.7 in June to 52.4 in July, signalling a seventh consecutive monthly improvement in business conditions.

Manufacturing output continued to expand as factory production increased for an eleventh consecutive month. The pace of growth was sharp and was the second-fastest on record.

After two consecutive months of decline, order book volumes returned to growth in July, reportedly linked to improved client demand. Foreign demand also improved in July, as signalled by a sustained upturn in new export orders to Thai firms, S&P Global said.

Moreover, business confidence in Thailand’s manufacturing sector was close to the survey peak. With the exception of January 2016, business confidence was the strongest since the survey began in December 2015, S&P Global noted.

“Inflationary pressures remained substantially elevated, with costs burdens rising at a record pace, linked to higher energy, transport and material prices, and firms raising their own charges to the second strongest degree on record in response,” Lewis Cooper, Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said.

“These issues did little to dampen business confidence in July, with sentiment towards output over the next 12- months amongst the strongest since the survey began in late-2015, as firms are hopeful that demand will pick up further in the coming months,” Cooper added.