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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.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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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.

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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