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Export growth slips in March


May 1, 2008

Export growth slips in March

Thailand’s annual exports growth slowed in March for the second straight month as shipments to the United States and Japan fell, but exports still hit a record high value, to swing the trade account back into surplus, reported Reuters Wednesday.

March exports rose 15.1 percent from a year earlier, central bank data showed on Wednesday, slowing from increases of 16.2 percent in February and 33.6 percent in January.

March exports hit a record $14.65 billion, up from $12.89 billion in February, but still below expectations of $14.85 billion.

The central bank's manufacturing production index (MPI) rose 10.1 percent compared to the previous March, its weakest growth since September last year, after a revised 14.9 percent increase in February and a 13.9 percent gain in January.

Exports to Japan fell 1.0 percent, after rising 10.2 percent in the year through February. But the falls were offset by sustained strong demand from China, where exports surged 34.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier after 26.5 percent growth in 2007.

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