Thailand: Inflation hits highest level since December 2012 in April
May 5, 2021
Consumer prices increased 1.38% from the previous month in April, accelerating from the 0.23% rise seen in March. April's reading was the sharpest increase in prices since June 2020. The acceleration was primarily due to rising prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages. In addition, price pressures for housing and furnishing increased.
Inflation came in at 3.4% in April, swinging from March’s 0.1% drop in consumer prices. April's figure was the highest inflation rate since December 2012, as was in part influenced by a low base effect from April 2020’s sharp fall in consumer prices. Meanwhile, the annual average variation of consumer prices rose to minus 0.6% in April (March: -1.1%), and core inflation rose to 0.3% in April from March’s 0.1% increase.
Regarding the outlook for inflation, and its impact on monetary policy, analysts at Goldman Sachs commented:
“While headline inflation is expected to be elevated this quarter (GS Q2 forecast: 3.3% yoy) due to higher fuel prices and unfavorable base effects, core inflation should remain subdued given still significant economy-wide slack. Going forward, as activity recovers only slowly, with the bulk of “catch up” growth on rebounding tourism only likely in 2022, we expect Bank of Thailand to be one of the slowest central banks to hike policy rates, only beginning to tighten policy in early 2023.”
Author: Stephen Vogado, Economist