BANGKOK, 2 October 2017 (NNT) Thailand's Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) in August 2017 has expanded by 3.74 percent, signaling a continuous growth of the Thai economy, with key driving factors being automobile engines, automobiles, rubber products, electronic parts, and petroleum.

Deputy Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) Director-General Verasak Supprasert revealed August's MPI has shown the 3.74 percent growth compared to the same period last year, which marked a 3.77 percent increase from July, raising the MPI during this yea's first eight months by one percent, which means the Thai economy has continued to expand.

The latest number of the industrial goods export excluding gold bullion has shown 8.50 percent growth, while the import of capital goods has grown by 6.10 percent. The import of raw materials excluding gold bullion has expanded by 9.2 percent.

Key industries which have contributed to the MPI growth included automobile engines, automobiles, rubber products, electronic parts, and petroleum.

The automobile engine sector has expanded by 38.39 percent year-on-year, especially from the demand for diesel engines from domestic manufacturers to feed the automobile manufacturing for export, mainly to Indonesia and the Philippines.

The automobile sector has expanded by 11.28 percent year-on-year from the increasing public demand of pick-ups and sedans due to the unveiling of new car models and the Big Motor Sale event that has raised the domestic purchases of cars by 6.83 percent.

The rubber products sector has grown 13.74 percent year-on-year from the increase rubber sheets manufacturing due to better availability of raw material from the high precipitation climate this year, and the expansion of rubber companies into new markets.

The electronic parts sector has grown 5.51 percent year-on-year, particularly in the PCBA goods and other ICs due to the shifting of parts demand to meet the fast-growing Internet of Things (IOT) trend.

The petroleum sector has grown by 7.44 percent compared to the same period last year due to the manufacturing of Gasohol 95 and jet fuel which has increased after some refineries have reopened following the closures for maintenance last year.

However, industries which have shrunk according to August's MPI included the accessories at 40.21 percent, the air-conditioners at 28.84 percent, steel and steel products at 6.17 percent, and the textile at 14.44 percent.