August 2, 2008
Thai inflation hits new 10-year high
Thailand’s inflation rate surged to a new 10-year high of 9.2 percent in July due to soaring oil and food prices, reported AFP on Friday.
Fuel prices in Thailand rose 46.9 percent year-on-year in July, leading prices of non-food goods to climb 7.6 percent, the country’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
“The main driver of rising inflation in July was oil prices that rose steeply over the past month before dropping a little. If oil prices in the second half of this year are around 120-130 dollar per barrel, this year’s average inflation may exceed 7.7 percent,” said Pairoa Sudsawarng, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary.
Food prices leapt by 11.8 percent due to the rising cost of rice and flour, which rose 33.5 percent. Meat rose 19.2 percent, while food seasonings and condiments increased by 16.3 percent.
Thailand’s inflation over the first seven months of the year averaged 6.6 percent, driven chiefly by surging fuel costs, and in June it had already hit a decade-high of 8.9 percent.
Central bank officials had warned the figure could reach double digits this month. On Monday, the central bank said it expected inflation across the year to average 7.5 to 8.8 percent -- up from previous estimates of 4.0 to 5.0 percent.
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