Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s headline inflation rate edged up to in August from the previous month) to a new year high, in line with forecasts and reinforcing expectations for further rate hikes later this month.
Headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.86% YoY in August, driven by energy prices and last year’s low base, the Commerce Ministry on Monday Published data show. That compares with a 7.86 increase forecast in a Reuters poll.
Fastest growth rate since July 2008, up from 7.61% in July It has recovered somewhat and is well above the central bank’s target range of 1% to 3%. Economists expect the central bank to raise interest rates further at its next meeting in September .
However, inflation may have peaked in August, ministry official Ronnarong Poolpipat told a news conference.
“Inflation has remained at 7% for three consecutive months, which shows that it has peaked, and if prices continue to do so, it will come back down,” he said.
The ministry expects inflation to be around 5% in the fourth quarter and between 5.5% and 6.5% for the whole 2022, he said
Government support measures including energy subsidies and some price management have helped to slow the rise in inflation, he said.
In August, core CPI excluding energy and fresh food prices rose 3.15% YoY, lower than the expected 3.15% increase, but higher than July’s 2.99%.
During the period from January to August, the overall inflation rate was 6.15%, and the core rate was 2 .15%.