Thailand’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 114.3 in March, an increase of 3.45 per cent compared to the same period last year, Yanyong Phuangrach, Permanent Secretary for Commerce said on Tuesday. It is considered a slight increase as the economy is recovering and reflected a sound economy as a result of the government’s economic stimulus measures and the commerce ministry’s measures to watch over the prices of necessities.
The Consumer Price Index in the first three months was up 3.39 per cent, compared to the same period in the previous year, while the March CPI was 0.59 per cent higher compared to the previous month due to food and beverage prices rising by 0.66 per cent in parallel with higher prices of eggs, dairy products and fresh fruit.
Hot and dry weather caused less produce for the market, while other non-food items were up 0.55 per cent. Increased civil servant salaries are likely to affect Thailand’s inflation rate by 0.01 per cent and the daily minimum wage when it is fully implemented is likely to impact inflation only 0.1 per cent. The average inflation for the whole year is projected to rise to 3.9 per cent, higher than earlier targeted at 3.8 per cent.
The Ministry of Commerce projects the average inflation in 2012 to stay at 3.3-3.8 per cent. Global oil prices, the world economy, natural disaster, volatile currency exchange and interest rates remain risk factors. Taxi fares rising 12 per cent and higher excise tax on air conditioners are likely to impact inflation by only 0.028 per cent and 0.07 per cent respectively. However, the inflation rate in the second quarter is projected to stay at 3.5 per cent, which is normal for improving economy with more spending. March inflation rises 3.45% year-on-year: Commerce Ministry
Between March 20-22, Bangkok University surveyed 1,203 people in Bangkok about current cost of living.*
Q1: Opinion of people whether they or their family have been impacted by the cost of consumer goods
A. Yes, 76.1%
B. No, 23.9%
Q2: Do you have sufficient income for the current cost of living?
Q3: What causes the price of goods to rise?
A. Price of energy increases, 36.9%
B. Production cost increases, 14%
C. 300 baht a day and 15,000 baht a month for bachelor’s degree holders, 12.5%**
D. Mismanagement of the situation by government, 6.7%
E. Hoarding of goods while waiting for policy clarity of the government, 6.6%
F. Natural disasters which happen in Thailand, 5.8%
G. Other reasons such as cartels/monopolies, 3%
Q4. Comparing the performance of the Yingluck government with the Abhisit government
A. Ability to manage the situation well is about the same, 28.3%
B. Yingluck government is better, 27.5%
C. Both governments are just as bad as each other, 26%
D. Abhisit government is better, 18.2%
Q5. Does the Yingluck government pay attention/take an interest in (เอาใจใส่) in solving the cost of living problem?
A. Yes, 50.1% – pay some attention is 43% and a lot of attention is 7.1%
B. No. 49.9 – don’t pay so much attention is 39.8% and pay no attention is 10.1%
Q6. Do you have confidence that the government can solve the current cost of living problem?
A. Yes, 38.7%
B. No, 61.3%
At the time of the poll, the 300 baht a day minimum wage increase hadn’t taken place. We are still yet to see how this will fully play out in terms of higher costs. The combination of higher energy costs and higher labor costs is clearly going to increase the cost of goods from now on so while a certain % – hard to guess exactly how many but you those on the minimum wage and even those above the minimum wage who will get pay increases – so do these people feel better off? Most likely, but there will be many others who won’t get pay increases to match the extra living costs. How many will blame government policy or energy prices?
*Survey data methodology
Lower than Bachelors, 67.5%
More than Bachelors, 3.1%
Civil servant, 9.4%
Private sector employee, 27%
House husband, house wife and retired, 6.5%
Student, independent, unemployed, others, 12.4%
**Only civil servants with a bachelor’s degree get 15,000 baht a month minimum. It doesn’t apply to the private sector.
Read more here:
Bangkok University Poll shows rising prices is a concern
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50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension
BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.
The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.
Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.
The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.
The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.
The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.
Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.
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