Thailand's industrial confidence index slips to new lows in May

BANGKOK, June 30 (TNA) - Rising domestic oil and raw material costs together with the political tension continued to depress Thailand's industrial confidence index in May as it fell to a new low at 71.4, according to a survey conducted by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

FTI chairman Santi Vilassakdanont cited a survey prepared by FTI of 750 people involving in 38 industries, which showed that May's industrial confidence index stood at 71.4, its lowest since FTI launched the survey in October 2002, and down over seven points from April which was at 78.8.

Major reasons which were attributed to the sharp fall of the index in May were an increase of diesel price by Bt5.60 per litre, a rise of 17.1 per cent, said Mr. Santi.

The cost of raw materials including iron and rubber also rose while domestic purchase orders slowed due to an increase in the price of goods and the political unrest, he said.

The FTI also projected that Thailand's industrial confidence index in August this year would remain low at 76.9 due to the sluggish global economy on the back of high oil prices, falling local demand and rising interest rates.

Local business operators are also worried that they cannot increase prices of their products while production costs have risen. Purchase orders and goods production are also projected to decline. (TNA)