Thailand: Central Bank hikes rates further in August
At its 2 August meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) hiked the policy rate to 2.25% from 2.00%. The decision marked the seventh consecutive increase and was unanimous.
The Bank decided to tighten its stance further in a bid to prevent strengthening economic activity from translating into financial imbalances and higher inflation. A recovering tourism sector and sturdier household expenditure are set to boost domestic demand this year. The BoT expects inflation to rebound in H2 following a decline in H1 due to the waning of temporary factors.
In its communiqué, the Bank stated that it decided to hike again to “ensure that inflation stays sustainably within the target range, as well as give due consideration to macro-financial stability in the longer term”. It added that monitoring was warranted given existing upside risks. That said, it struck a less hawkish tone than in previous meetings, saying that in future deliberations, it would factor in the “economic and inflation outlook, as well as associated risk assessments”.
The majority of our panelists expect the Bank to hold rates at current levels by year-end.
The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for 27 September.