BANGKOK, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's industrial confidence reached a 16-month low in October due to soft purchasing power amid weak demand, data showed on Wednesday.
The Thai Industries Sentiment Index dropped to 88.4 last month from 90.0 in September as most components of the index declined, including overall purchasing orders, sales, production volume, and turnover, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
The reading was based on a survey of 1,337 respondents from 45 industry groups under the FTI.
The falling sentiment was attributed to a higher financial load as entrepreneurs experienced an increase in interest rates. The weak Thai Baht also contributed to a rise in costs for imported material and expenses, the FTI said in a statement.
Despite that, the gradual recovery in foreign demand, mainly from key export markets including Europe, Japan, and the Middle East, along with the visa-free entry scheme, remained a positive factor, the statement said.
The next three-month expected index decreased to 94.5 in October from 97.3 a month earlier as entrepreneurs worried about the volatility of local and global markets and the ongoing geopolitical crises.
Meanwhile, rising production costs and the impact of the El Nino phenomenon on agricultural and related sectors also contributed to the decline.
The group urged the government to expedite the implementation of economic stimulus schemes along with loan forbearance measures for small and medium-sized enterprises, FTI Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul told a news conference. ■