BANGKOK Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Thai economy in July showed signs of slight improvement compared to the previous month, despite an overall slowdown and falling exports, Thai News Agency reported on Friday.
There were signs that the Thai economy would become more lively in the third quarter. Thailand's economic stability, both internal and external, remains solid given inflation and unemployment rates at 2.0 percent on year and 0.5 percent on year respectively, said Ekniti Nitithanprapas, deputy director general of the Fiscal Policy Office under Finance Ministry.
The country's foreign reserves are as high as 172 billion U.S. dollars -- sufficient to cope with the global economic volatility - - while the fiscal policy will be significant in stabilizing the economy in the second half of the year, he said.
July exports, he said, rose by 1.5 percent year-on-year but increased by 0.8 percent month-on-month compared to June due to expansion in the electronics and fuel sectors.
Regarding consumption in the private sector, he said revenue from value added tax (VAT) in July declined by 1.9 percent year-on- year but VAT collections based on domestic consumption increased by 5.5 percent year-on-year.
Commodity imports in July were higher by 9.0 percent year-on- year while private investment in construction, based on property business, increased by 29.9 percent year-on-year in July.
Private investment in machinery, based on imports of capital goods in July, dropped by 3.6 percent year-on-year but expanded by 8.7 percent compared to the preceding month.
Kulaya Tantitemit, executive director of the Macroeconomic Policy Bureau, said the economic indicators on Thailand's supply in the industrial and agricultural sectors has slowed down but the tourism sector has expanded.
The manufacturing production index (MPI) in July dropped 4.5 percent year-on-year and 0.4 percent month-on-month compared to June, while raw material imports increased by 12.5 percent year-on- year, reflecting a positive sign in the industrial sector, she said.
The agricultural production index (API) in July shrank by 2.7 percent year-on-year and 7.4 percent month-on-month in accord with decreasing rice production partly due to drought.
On the brighter side, Thailand's tourism expanded 22.5 percent year-on-year, mainly from visits by Chinese, Malaysian and Singaporean tourists.