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Thai inflation climbed to 1.24% in March 2019

Core inflation stood at 0.58%YOY, stable from 0.60%YOY in the previous month following stagnated prepared food, housing rent and medical and personal care price index.

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Headline inflation surged to 1.24%YOY in March, up from 0.73%YOY in the previous month. Raw food and energy prices are the main drivers for inflation growth.

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Raw food price index increased by 3.75%YOY following rising rice flour and cereal products, meat and fruit and vegetable price. Lowered agricultural supply from drought caused fruit and vegetable prices to increase, the first increment in 10 months.

Meanwhile, energy price index rebounded with growth of 2.07%YOY from heightened global crude price, after dropping for 3 consecutive months (in March, Brent crude oil price averaged at 66.41 USD per barrel compared to 64.13 USD per barrel in February).

Core inflation stood at 0.58%YOY, stable from 0.60%YOY in the previous month following stagnated prepared food, housing rent and medical and personal care price index.

Headline inflation decelerated slightly to 0.74%YOY in quarter 1 from 0.84%YOY in quarter 4, 2018

Energy price index declined by -0.78%YOY following a decease in global crude price in Q1-2019. On the contrary, raw food price index accelerated to 2.51%YOY in line with rice, meat and fruit and vegetable prices. Meanwhile, core inflation averaged at 0.62%YOY in the first quarter of 2019, slightly declining from 0.71%YOY during the last quarter of 2018.

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EIC or Economic Intelligence Center, a unit of Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited, is established to provide business executives with valuable insights for effective decision making.

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Economics

Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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Economics

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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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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