Thailand's Exports Continue Decline In June

BANGKOK (AP) -- Thailand's exports declined for the eighth consecutive month in June as global demand for electronics, autos and other goods remained weak, the Commerce Ministry said Monday.

Exports from Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy plunged 25.9 percent from a year earlier to $12.3 billion, following a 26.6 percent contraction in May, the ministry said in a statement.

Imports fell 29.3 percent to $11.4 billion, producing a trade surplus for the month of $937 million.

Thailand's export-dependent economy is reeling from the worst global recession in decades while domestic consumption remains sluggish.

Thailand's economy shrank 7.1 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. The Bank of Thailand last week held its benchmark interest rate at 1.25 percent, saying the economy was stabilizing.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva last month said the government expects the economy to grow again in 2010.

Exports, which make up about 60 percent of the economy, have been falling since October, 2008.

Thailand is an exporter of soft commodities like rice and manufactured products such as electrical goods, hard-drives and vehicles.

The ministry last month said exports this year will fall between 15 and 19 percent.

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