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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           25   August  2011

Thai central bank raises interest rate

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The Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee decided to raise the policy rate by 25 basis points to 3.50 per cent in its meeting today, citing heightened inflation risks as the reason.

Inflationary pressure remains as domestic demand continues to expand. Meanwhile, fiscal stimulus poilicies could add price pressure and fuel inflation expectation despite softening in prices of oil and other commodities, said BOT assistant governor, Paiboon Kittisrikangwan.

The hike is the seventh in a row since October 2010.

Five of the MPC members voted for the increase, while two favoured a pause. The MPC will closely monitor the global economic condition and inflation and stand ready for policy adjustment to ensure economic stability, Paiboon said.

A majority of economists expected the hike, as domestic inflation is on the rise on continued spending. Despite growing external risks, mainly the economic outlook of the US and Europe, domestic spending remains resilient thanks to consumer confidence in political stability.

The central bank reached the decision despite notions from Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala that a too high rate could hurt domestic confidence.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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