Fri, 31 Mar 2023

BANGKOK, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's business sentiment improved in January as the Southeast Asian country's economic recovery continued apace, data released by the central bank showed Wednesday.

The country's business sentiment index (BSI) rose to 49.8 last month from 48.4 registered in December 2022, driven by increases in manufacturing and non-manufacturing confidence indexes that were slightly higher than the average in 2019 or the pre-pandemic levels, according to the Bank of Thailand (BOT).

The improved sentiment came after respondents in most sectors reported increased confidence, led by the automotive industry, as the semiconductor shortage eased up, while the steel industry was more optimistic about production and performance, the BOT said in a statement.

The three-month expected BSI rose to 56.5, increasing in almost all components and businesses, with the non-manufacturing sector positive from expecting more economic activities due to increasing Chinese tourists after China optimized its COVID-19 strategy, according to the BOT.

The reading was based on a survey of 504 respondents from large and medium-sized firms, the central bank said.

Previously, the BOT said Thailand's economy will continue to gain traction with continued recovery in tourism and private consumption thanks to the return of Chinese tourists.

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