Thailand’s consumer price index (CPI) in November rose for the second consecutive month, signalling that deflation is over, said Yanyong Puangraj, Permanent Secretary for Commerce. The CPI rose 1.9 per cent year-on-year in November. The rising inflation – mainly resulting from an increase in food and beverage prices – was some 0.6 per cent. Compared to the previous month, it rose 0.3 per cent thanks to rising domestic oil prices.
However, the CPI in the first 11 months of 2009 contracted 1.2 per cent year-on-year owing to reduced fuel and clothing prices, Mr Yanyong said.
The permanent secretary for commerce said the rising CPI is a good sign of the economic rebound, adding that the government should further implement economic stimulus policies and speed up budget disbursement on the Thai Khem Keng (Strong Thailand) scheme.
The Bank of Thailand (BoT), he said, is expected to maintain the current interest policy rate (at 1.25 per cent). However, further baht appreciation and soaring fuel prices are an inflationary pressure, while the Dubai World crisis and devaluation of Vietnamese dong are not likely to have major impact on Thai economy.
Mr Yanyong added that t he Dubai World crisis might slightly impact the country’s inflation rate as the current crisis relates to the financial sector rather than overall economic situation and the Thai export value to Dubai is around 5.7 per cent of the whole country’s export value.
Meanwhile, the devaluation of Vietnamese dong may affect Thailand’s exports, in particular competitive goods such as clothing, shoes, electronic devices, computers and rice.
The inflation rate of 2009 is projected to stay at zero to minus 1.0 per cent.