Thailand: Inflation moderates at the outset of the year
February 1, 2013
In January, consumer prices added 0.16% over the previous month, which was down from the 0.39% rise recorded in December. The increase primarily reflected higher prices for housing and furnishing as well as for transportation and communication. As a result of the subdued monthly rise, annual headline inflation moderated to 3.4% in January (December: 3.6%), which was down from the 3.5% expected by the markets.
The core inflation index, which excludes energy and fresh food prices, added 0.08% over the previous month, which was up from the 0.04% rise recorded in December. Meanwhile, annual core inflation slowed to 1.6% in January (December: 1.8%). At the current level, core inflation remains well within the Central Bank's 0.5%-3.0% target range.
The Bank of Thailand projects inflation to average 3.4% this year, while the Commerce Ministry sees inflation fluctuating between 2.8% and 3.4%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist