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NEWS UPDATES 17 February 2010

Thai central bank puts debt crisis of Europe’s PIGS on agenda

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The issue of the huge public debts facing Europe's five-member PIGS countries-- Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain—will be raised at the Thai central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on March 10 to set guidelines for Thailand's monetary policy implementation.

Thai news agency (TNA) quoted Bank of Thailand (BoT) Deputy Governor Bandid Nijathaworn as saying that a policy interest rate change, if adjusted too early, would stall Thailand's ongoing economic recovery, but if it was adjusted too slowly, inflation might accelerate.

The monetary committee will consider the latest economic indicators, including financial data and loan growth, to consider whether the Thai economy is really on a path to recovery.

It will also consider whether economic growth revision is necessary given possible risk factors such as global economic uncertainties, re-entry non-performing loans incurred by many major banks worldwide, and higher fiscal burdens.

Bandid said the economic conditions continued to pick up, leading to a more active foreign capital inflow and outflow as could witnessed by the currency exchange rate fluctuation.

The baht had strengthened by 0.4 percent against the US dollar since early this year and further appreciated in the same direction with other Asian currencies, but it still moved in an acceptable level in the past few months as the country had not lost any export competitiveness.

Regarding mounting political disturbances, the BoT deputy governor said the central bank shared the same view with the business community that it did not want the political woes to undermine ongoing economic recovery.

The bank wanted to see a continued implementation of the government’s policy on stimulating the country’s economy, he added.


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