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Oil price surge can deter economic recovery


Growth seen to be stable despite oil price rise

Thailand’s Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee assured the public Friday that the country’s economic growth will rise to 6 percent in 2008 as earlier targeted despite soaring oil prices.

Surapong, who is also deputy prime minister, said Thailand's economic growth will not be seriously affected as long as other economic factors remain favourable, reported Thai News Agency.
Investment by both the government and private firms, especially in the real estate sector, had increased and domestic consumption had risen while public confidence in the government's handling of economic issues remained at satisfactory level, according to Surapong.

He added that the government had prepared both short- and long-term contingency plans to contain economic woes caused by the rising oil prices, an economic factor which had considerably slowed Thailand's exports.

Surapong said that the Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee will consider whether or not interest rates should be readjusted if inflation rises beyond 5 percent this month (March), while the government is scheduled to launch a second economic stimulus package by the end of this month.

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