BANGKOK, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's industrial output dropped for the 12th straight month in September due to a slowing global economy and a weak baht currency, official data showed on Tuesday.
The country's manufacturing production index (MPI) dropped 6.06 percent last month from a year earlier, slowing from a steeper fall in August, according to the Ministry of Industry.
The drop was attributed to a slowdown in industrial exports. Meanwhile, manufacturers experienced higher costs for imported materials owing to the Thai baht depreciation and increased financial costs on the back of interest rate hikes, the ministry said in a statement.
However, the expansion of the vital tourism sector continued to boost domestic demand for industrial products, particularly food and beverages, the statement said.
Automotive products, electronic components, and petroleum refining saw a significant decline in production last month despite major growth in plastic pellets, sugar, and electrical wires, said the ministry's Office of Industrial Economics Director-General Warawan Chitaroon.
For the first nine months of the year, the MPI shrank 5.09 percent from a year earlier, weighed down by a decline in computer and peripherals, furniture, and electronic component manufacturing, Warawan told a news conference.
She also noted that the office revised its MPI forecast for 2023 down to a 4.0-4.5 percent decrease from a 2.8-3.8 percent decrease expected earlier due to an ongoing global slowdown, a weak Thai baht, and prolonged international conflicts. ■