Thailand: Inflation moderates for third straight month
April 2, 2013
In March, consumer prices added 0.07% over the previous month, which was down from the 0.21% rise recorded in February. The monthly reading reflected how lower prices for transportation and communications almost entirely offset higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages. Despite the monthly rise, annual headline inflation moderated to 2.7% in March (February: 3.2%), which was below the 3.0% expected by the markets and marked the third consecutive month of moderating inflation.
The core inflation index, which excludes energy and fresh food prices, was virtually flat over the previous month below the 0.09% rise recorded in February. Meanwhile, annual core inflation fell to 1.2% from 1.6% in February. 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%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists anticipate inflation to average 3.3% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's Consensus. For 2014, panellists see average inflation also at 3.3%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions