BANGKOK, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's business sentiment improved in September due to increased confidence in the manufacturing sector, while the non-manufacturing sector remained stable, data released by the central bank showed Monday.
According to the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Southeast Asian country's business sentiment index (BSI) increased to 50.4 last month from 48.9 in August, mainly due to a rise in production, total order books, and performance sub-indices.
The non-manufacturing index remained stable above the 50-threshold in most businesses, indicating an improvement as the recovery in economic activity continued. However, the retail trade sector index was recorded below the 50-threshold for two consecutive months due to high living costs, the BOT said in a statement.
The manufacturing index showed subtle improvement, as the figure jumped to slightly above the 50-threshold, led by the petroleum-related and steel industries, on the back of increases in nearly all components, according to the BOT.
The three-month expected BSI edged up to 54.7 last month from 54.1 in August due to improvements in most components as respondents in the non-manufacturing sectors reported increased confidence in nearly all businesses, while the manufacturing sector expressed stronger sentiment, driven by the food and beverage industries, the statement said.
The reading was based on a survey of 506 respondents from large and medium-sized firms, the central bank said.