TOKYO - Manufacturing activity in Thailand still suffers from lower sales and job losses, but business confidence improved, according to an industry gauge.
The Nikkei Thailand Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 49.5 in April from 49.1 in March. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points toward contraction.
It marked a second straight monthly deterioration due to falls in new orders, employment and input stocks, however the rate of decrease remained marginal.
"While production volumes were broadly stable, weak sales, lower employment and falling inventories all continues to weigh on the headline PMI", said Bernard Aw, Principal Economist at HIS Markit. "Business confidence turned positive, indicating that output could rise in coming months. The weak start to the second quarter builds the case for the Bank of Thailand to keep monetary policy accommodative for the time being, amid speculations that the central bank could start to consider tightening interest rates after a unanimous decision at its recent policy meeting.", he added.
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