Thailand: Inflation hits over 13-year high in February
Consumer prices rose 1.06% over the previous month in February, easing slightly from the 1.31% increase logged in January. The lower figure was primarily driven by a softer rise in housing and furnishings costs, although food prices rose at a steeper rate in February, bolstering the overall rise.
Inflation jumped to 5.3% in February, up sharply from January’s 3.2% reading and marking the highest inflation rate since September 2008. Annual average inflation rose to 2.1% in February (January: 1.5%), while core inflation increased to 1.8% in February, from the previous month’s 0.5%.
Regarding the outlook for inflation, Charnon Boonnuch and Euben Paracuelles, economists at Nomura, commented:
“We maintain our 2022 headline CPI inflation forecast of 3.3%, well above […] the BoT’s forecast of 1.7%. Our forecast implies inflation will breach the upper bound of the BoT’s target range of 1.0%–3.0% for the first time since 2015 when the headline inflation target was adopted. […] We believe the balance of risks to our 2022 inflation forecasts is tilted more to the upside, in view of the sharp increase in global oil prices amid the heightened geopolitical tensions and sharply rising food prices in the core basket in February.”