Thailand’s industrial sentiment shows steady growth

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Thailand’s industrial sentiment picked up in June for the first time in three months, thanks to a easing of COVID-19 restrictions and improved economic activity, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said its industry sentiment index rose from 84.3 in May to 86.3 in June.

However, negative factors continue to affect sentiment, including rising commodity and energy prices, supply shortages and a global economic slowdown, the group said.

The effect of a recession and weakening global purchasing power on Thai exports will also be monitored, FTI chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul told a news conference.

“If there are no major consequences, and we get more foreign tourists, I believe our GDP will improve,” he said.

While a weak baht is good for exports, it increases the cost of imports, so the central bank must ensure currency stability to help trade, Kriengkrai said.

The baht was trading at 36.66 per dollar on Wednesday, close to its weakest level in more than 15 years.

The central bank is expected to raise its main interest rate from a record low of 0.50% next month, which will affect financial costs, Kriengkrai said.

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