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Thai central bank ready to cut rates if private consumption falls sharply

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is ready to cut rates if consumption falls sharply, a senior official said on Thursday, a day after it kept monetary policy unchanged amid pressure from the government to ease.

“If we look at the numbers and private consumption falls sharply and there is a clear change – that is an important factor in considering key rates,” BOT Senior Director Sakkapop Panyanukul told a local television programme.

Cutting rates would have a long-term negative impact and would only have limited benefits to debtors, he said.

“Any cuts would be small,” he said.

The monetary policy committee on Wednesday voted to hold key rates at 2.50%.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has repeatedly urged the central bank to ease monetary policy, saying small businesses and debtors are suffering at decade-high interest rates.

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