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NEWS UPDATES 1 February 2010

Thai Inflation remains high for 4th month in January

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Thailand’s consumer price index (CPI) in January increased 4.1 per cent year-on-year and remained high for the fourth consecutive month, indicating a clear sign of economic recovery, Thai news agency TNA  reported, quoting Director-General Yanyong Puangrach of the Department of Internal Trade.

Prices of agricultural goods tended to rise due to a 3.2 per cent increase in food and beverage indices.

The consumer price index in January rose 0.6 per cent from the previous month as prices of consumer goods and retail oil prices moved up.

Inflation in 2010 is expected to hover around 3-3.5 per cent on average. It is likely to stay at 3.7 per cent in the first quarter and drop later in the year, Yanyong said.

Inflation in February is likely to increase on the assumption that crude oil prices stay at $ 70-80 per barrel, the baht remains at 31-33 against the US dollar, and the government’s measures to help low income earners continue.

The overall economy is likely to improve while the Bank of Thailand (BoT) projects that the economy will grow 3.3-3.5 percent.

However, he said the domestic political situation and oil prices must be closely monitored. Prices of agricultural goods are likely to rise with lower-than-expect yields caused by infestation of grasshoppers.


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