BANGKOK, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's exports increased for the first time in 11 months in August due to higher shipments of agricultural and industrial products amid a weakening baht currency, official data showed on Tuesday.
Exports, a key driver of the Southeast Asian country's economic growth, rose 2.6 percent last month from a year earlier to 24.27 billion U.S. dollars, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
The growth was attributed to improved signals from the global manufacturing sector compared to the previous month, although they remained below normal levels, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the depreciation of the Thai baht at an appropriate level also helped.
A breakdown of the data revealed that Thailand's export of industrial products expanded 2.5 percent in August from a year earlier, while agricultural products rose 4.2 percent year on year, revising up from a 7.7 percent decline in the previous month.
However, shipments of agro-industrial goods shrank 7.6 percent year on year last month, down from the 11.8 percent fall in July, marking a fifth consecutive month of decline.
The data also indicated Thailand's imports plunged 12.8 percent from a year earlier to 23.91 billion dollars in August, resulting in a trade surplus of 359 million dollars.
For the first eight months of the year, the kingdom's exports fell 4.5 percent from a year earlier, while imports dropped 5.7 percent, yielding a trade deficit of 7.92 billion dollars, according to the ministry.
The ministry expects a gradual recovery in exports in the remaining months of this year, particularly from October to December, which is a cycle with increased orders, Keerati Rushchano, the ministry's permanent secretary, told a news conference.