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Thailand's tourism up, exports down in October

Staff writer |
Thailand's tourism sector slightly improved in October as the number of foreign tourists expanded 3.7 percent from the previous month, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said.

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The increase, which came after contraction for two consecutive months following Bangkok bombing incidents in mid-August, was mainly a result of improved Chinese tourist numbers, the central bank said in a statement.

However, it added, the number of foreign tourist arrivals from other countries continued to decline, especially from Malaysia and Russia.

Meanwhile, the value of merchandise exports dropped by 8 percent from the same period last year, the bank said, attributing the decrease to the economic slowdown in China and ASEAN countries, lower prices of some goods in relation to global oil prices, and the high base last year from accelerated exports before the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) tax privilege expired.

Although most merchandise exports contracted, exports of certain goods continued to increase such as automobiles, particularly the new models of commercial cars, as well as electronic parts and lens exported to China as raw materials for new models of mobile phones and tablets, according to the BOT.

In October, the Thai economy continued to recover at a gradual pace, the bank noted.

Public spending continued to be disbursed well and private consumption increased on the back of spending on necessary goods and services, according to the statement.

However, private investment and manufacturing production stayed low as production capacity in most industries remained lower than normal, it said.

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