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Economics

March inflation hits 51-month low at -0.54 percent

March 2020 inflation rate receded to 0.54 percent, marking the first recession in 33 months and the lowest inflation rate in 51 months.

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The inflation rate of the Thai economy has been reduced sharply by lower oil prices and a lesser demand for goods due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This situation has caused the March 2020 inflation rate to recede to 0.54 percent, marking the first recession in 33 months, and the lowest inflation rate in 51 months. The country’s inflation rate this year is now expected to drop to 0.6 percent, from the previous projection of 0.8 percent growth.

The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) has revealed the Thai economy’s inflation rate in March 2020 was a negative 0.54 percent, making the overall rate for Q1 2020 0.41 percent higher than the previous year.

TPSO’s Director General Pimchanok Vonkorpon said today the global economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the falling energy price have been the main factors affecting inflation in this year’s first quarter, however there is still no indication as to when these issues will be resolved.

The inflation rate in Q2 is expected to continue receding through to the second half of the year.

The Ministry of Commerce has readjusted the 2020 inflation rate projection to a negative 0.6 percent, within a range of -1.0 to -0.2 percent. The inflation rate this year was initially expected to be 0.8 percent, within a range of 0.4 to 1.2 percent.

Pricing of some products such as limes and chicken eggs has recently risen due to the drought disaster and panic buying. This situation allowed fresh food items to grow at 2.46 percent, albeit the lowest performance in a year. This is due to lower demand from fewer tourists, and the closure of shops and schools.

The pricing of instant meals, condiments, and personal items is still stable, with variations resulting from promotions by modern trade retailers.

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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.

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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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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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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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