Thailand's industrial output declined for the first time in four months in February due to weaker production of autos, rubber, air conditioners and petroleum products, suggesting a fragile economic recovery.
The Industry Ministry said on Friday its manufacturing production index (MPI) in February dropped 1.5% from a year earlier. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 0.55%.
In January, the index rose a revised 2.19% from a year earlier. Industrial goods accounted for 80% of total exports, which declined 2.8% in February from a year earlier after January's 8.8% rise, customs data showed.
Exports, which account for about two-thirds of Thailand's economy, are traditionally a key driver of the country's growth. Capacity utilisation at factories was 60.10 in February, little changed from a revised 60.67% in January.
The Bank of Thailand on Wednesday raised its economic growth forecast to 3.4% this year from 3.2%, with exports rising 2.2%. Southeast Asia's second-largest economy expanded 3.2% last year according to data from the Office of Industrial Economics, part of the Industry Ministry.