Thailand: Inflation eases in August
September 2, 2013
Consumer prices in August were virtually flat over the previous month, which followed the 0.1% rise recorded in July. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the monthly reading was the result of a decrease in domestic retail oil prices, which was partially offset by higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Annual headline inflation fell from 2.0% in July to 1.6% in August, which was below market expectations of 1.8% and represents the lowest level in almost four years.
The core inflation index, which excludes energy and fresh food prices, increased 0.1% over the previous month. In addition, annual core inflation inched down from 0.9% in July to 0.8% in August. As a consequence, core inflation remains at the lower end of the Central Bank's 0.5%-3.0% target range.
The Bank of Thailand projects inflation to average 2.3% this year and 2.6% in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 2.8% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's Consensus. For 2014, panelists see average inflation at 3.1%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist