BANGKOK, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's industrial confidence fell for a third consecutive month in September due to weaker domestic purchasing power and slowing demand from trading partners, data showed on Friday.
The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) dropped to 90.0 last month from 91.3 in August as most components of the index declined, including overall orders, overall sales, production volume, and operating results, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
The reading was based on a survey of 1,324 respondents from 45 industry groups under the FTI.
The declining September sentiment was attributed to a slowdown in the manufacturing sector owing to high household debt and lower agricultural income. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs experienced higher prices of imported raw materials due to weakening Thai baht and increased financial costs on the back of interest rate hikes, the FTI said in a statement.
However, the ongoing recovery in the tourism sector continued to have a positive impact on domestic consumption, and energy price cuts from the government's support scheme also led to decreased industrial production and transportation costs, the statement said.
The next three-month expected TISI decreased to 97.3 in September from 99.5 a month earlier as entrepreneurs worried about rising energy prices due to increased demand during the winter and prolonged geopolitical conflict impacting energy and commodity prices.
The group urged the government to incentivize excess electricity purchases through the net metering system and promote renewable energy markets in order to contribute to carbon neutrality, FTI Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul told a news conference.
He also recommended that the Bank of Thailand and both public and commercial financial institutions monitor and reduce the gap between deposit and loan rates. ■