Thailand: Bank of Thailand stands pat in May
May 8, 2019
In a unanimous vote at its 8 May meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand opted to leave the policy rate unaltered at 1.75% after the committee turned more dovish in the prior meeting.
The decision came on the back of largely unchanged inflation expectations and softening economic growth in Thailand, while the Bank projects that global economic and domestic headwinds are likely to persist. The Bank sees inflation averaging near the lower bound of its target range going forward as weaker food price inflation is expected to offset higher energy prices. Drought is a key risk to the inflation outlook, however. Meanwhile, the Committee also noted that the Thai economy is likely to expand at a somewhat more moderate pace, amid slowing global growth more broadly, which will drag on exports. Domestic demand should remain resilient but the Bank stated that elevated household debt and weakening employment gains are likely to drag on private consumption growth.
The Committee’s tone was unchanged in its accompanying press communiqué, judging “the current accommodative monetary policy stance would remain appropriate” and pledging to continue monitoring developments relating to economic growth, inflation and the financial markets.
The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for 26 June.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist