The Office of Industrial Economics reported that the MPI had declined 0.9 per cent from 181.84 points in the same month last year, while the manufacturing gross domestic product index declined 1.4 per cent from 186.46 points.
External and internal factors impacted strongly on gems and jewellery, electronic parts and steel, director-general Arthit Wuthikaro said yesterday.
The MPI for gems and jewellery declined 34.8 per cent, due mainly to the credit crunch in the United States, its major export destination. The rise in raw-material prices also boosted higher production costs. Both the production and distribution of electronic parts fell 10 per cent in October as a result of the global economic downturn. About 90 per cent of electronic-parts production is exported, which means most electronics manufacturers have explored new markets and negotiated with existing customers for higher orders, said Arthit.
Meanwhile, the declining MPI in the steel industry was caused by the delay of the government's mega-projects and the downturn in property business.
Arthit said Thai operators should turn crisis into opportunity by improving their productivity, creating innovative products and enhancing human-resources competency.
Despite the economic slowdown, the industrial sector can grow continuously but at a slower pace, particularly in hard-disk drives, clothing and processed vegetables and fruit, he added.