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Thailand's industrial confidence near 4-year high in February

BANGKOK, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's industrial confidence improved to a 47-month high in February following a steady expansion of the production sector, helped by higher domestic demand, government stimulus measures and rebounds in tourism, data showed on Wednesday.

The Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) soared to 96.2 last month from 93.9 in January as all components of the index improved, including purchase orders, sales, production volume, operation costs and turnover, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

The February figure marked a return to pre-pandemic levels, FTI Chairman Kriengkrai Thiennukul told a news conference.

Despite lower operating costs from easing raw material prices, entrepreneurs remained concerned over weak demand from trading partners, the global slowdown, rising energy prices and interest rates, as well as Thai baht volatility, Kriengkrai said.

The three-month expected TISI increased to 103.6 in February, up from 101.1 a month earlier, as entrepreneurs became upbeat about the country's economic recovery, supported by the tourism sector, domestic consumption, investment and the upcoming general election, he said.

The reading was based on a survey of 1,316 respondents from 45 industry groups under the FTI, it said in a statement.