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NEWS UPDATES 3 March 2010

Thailand: Inflation rises for 5th consecutive month

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Consumer prices in February rose 3.7 percent year-on-year, indicating that the Thai economy is continuing to recover and is returning to normal, state news agency TNA reported, quoting Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Puangrach.

Inflation in February rose for the fifth consecutive month due to higher prices of agricultural goods and food. Oil prices also rose 35.8 percent, compared to the same period last year.

The Consumer Price Index in February increased 0.56 percent while the Core Consumer Price Index rose 0.02 percent, compared to the previous month.

Yangyong said inflation is forecast to stay at 3.7 percent in the first quarter and 3-3.5 percent on average during 2010, based on the assumption that the crude oil price is $ 70-80 per barrel, the Thai baht is 31-33 against US dollar and the government's measures to help low income earners are further extended for another three months.

The Bank of Thailand said the country's economy is projected to grow 3.3-5.3 percent. However, political situation, rising inflation, labour shortage and the fluctuation of oil prices must be closely monitored.


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