THAI AUG EXPORTS UNEXPECTEDLY RISE ON BOOST FROM AUTO SHIPMENTS

BANGKOK: Thailand's customs-cleared exports in August unexpectedly rose for the first time in five months, led by auto shipments, but it is too early to tell if the trade-dependent economy's recovery is starting to solidify given the still-soft global demand.

Exports increased 6.5 percent from a year earlier, commerce ministry data showed on Monday, compared with the median forecast for a fall of 1.4 percent in a Reuters poll. In July, shipments fell 6.4 percent

In August, imports dropped 1.5 percent from a year earlier, producing a trade surplus of $2.13 billion for the month. Many imported materials are assembled into completed goods and shipped out again. In July, annual imports slumped 7.2 percent.

Thai exports, worth about two-thirds of the country's economic output, have declined in each of the past three years.

The central bank has forecast exports will decline 2.5 percent this year and 0.5 percent in 2017.


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