Economic growth shift to Asia, Thailand is not an exception

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Thailand’s industrial sentiment rose for the fourth month in a row in September, reaching its highest level in 32 months, supported by improved domestic demand and a recovery in the crucial tourism sector, an industry group said on Wednesday.

According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the sentiment index for the industry rose to 91.8 in September, up from 90.5 in the previous month.

Sentiment was also boosted by the weak baht, which was at its lowest point against the dollar in 16 years, FTI chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul said in a statement.

However, the sentiment index was still below 100, meaning it is still suboptimal, and remained under pressure from rising prices of energy and materials, supply shortages and a global economic slowdown, he said.

An index predicting industrial sentiment for the next three months rose from 99.5 in August to 101.8 in September.

“Entrepreneurs are seeing the economy improve steadily, especially through a tourism upturn, but higher costs remain a risk,” Kriengkrai said.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is expected to grow to 3.5% this year, up from 1.5% last year, Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said last week.

A separate survey earlier on Wednesday found that consumers are more confident but remain cautious about their spending as the economy recovers slowly.

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