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Thailand’s manufacturing production highest in 23 months

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Manufacturing is up for the first time in 2 years.

After 2 years of falling, largely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Thailand’s manufacturing production index has grown for the first time in 23 months. The index, which measures manufacturing activity, hit 107.73 last month, which is the highest it has been since April of 2019. With a growth of 4.12% in the last year, the index had its strongest performance since October of 2018.

The Office of Industrial Economics monitors these figures and attributes the positive growth to Thailand’s trading partners having increased demand for Thai exports. They also pointed out though that growth is more easily achieved from the low bar set by last year’s Covid-19 hampered figures.

The Thai government implemented economic stimulus packages that helped boost production, along with the start of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. Confidence was raised, and Thailand’s manufacturing capacity utilisation rates rose from 65.06% in February to 69.59% in March.

The numbers were slightly below the predicted 4.4% increase but were still the fastest growth pace in 29 months. Another increase is expected in April’s figures. Thai officials say that Thailand’s manufacturing sector is so far unaffected by the third wave of Covid-19 sweeping the country with much higher infections and deaths than previous waves. With the global economy improving, demand is up and production is capable of delivering. They predict a 2% to 3% rise in the MPI this year, a welcomed improvement over last years 9.3% drop.

SOURCE: Reuters and The Star


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  1. Avatar

    David Pilkington

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    4.12% growth in the country’s pandemic year . . . excellent, amazing but sadly, too good to be true.

    OK, so most of last year showed very low CV-19 infection and death numbers but, after March/April’s virtual total shutdown of manufacturing, the OIE is submitting these glowing statistics for the 12 months since then. I cannot help but wonder if someone has pressed a wrong key on the calculator.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    This means nothing unless the increased manufacturing is selling. Is it?
    Expected figures, and predicted should be disregarded.

  3. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 1:22 am

    You can make surveys and statistics say what ever you like.this sounds to good to be true and almost certainly is.
    As the rest of the world has headed south china included thailand bucks the trend and increases output.
    I find this very hard to believe,who audits these figures?

  4. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 3:53 am

    I “cannot help but wonder” if you read the article and the source, @David P, or where you dreamt up your recollections of last year.

    There was no “virtual total shutdown of manufacturing” in “March/April” last year in Thailand.

    That’s pure fantasy – it never happened.

    Production was reduced to match reduced demand for exports, mainly managed by reduced OT. There was no “virtual total shutdown of manufacturing” at all – it never happened, nor are there any media reports that it ever happened.

    … and there haven’t been “glowing statistics for the 12 months since then” either.

    What’s “glowing” about “last years 9.3% drop”?

  5. Avatar


    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:16 am

    Let’s look at it from a positive perspective, yup in the right direction.

    Now time to be realistic, Thai Manufacturing PMI went up in March, this from declining several months, although still deteriorate as it came in at 47.2 (50 being the medium)

    And more importantly, when it comes to macro, one quarter doesn’t mean much. Still hope the numbers till attract [well needed] cash and employment to the workers on the floor.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:27 am

    If you want investors to keep investing and to “maintain” currency valuations, you sell good news to interested parties.

  7. Avatar

    Buster Hymen

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    These figures and the check is in the mail are total poppycock.

  8. Avatar


    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    well there you go then, no need for the stupid “plans” to re-open to tourism that will never happen they want them to, there is no need for tourism dollars as manufacturing is the latest and greatest cash cow.

  9. Avatar


    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Blah, blah, made up, blah, blah, falsified, blah, blah…..why are they bothered with what a bunch of jealous foreigners think?

    Clue – they arent.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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