BANGKOK – Consumer price index (CPI) or inflation rate increased for the eighth consecutive month to 0.42% in February, according to the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO).
The increase was attributed to the back of a recovery in the people’s purchasing power and increased demand for products and services in the country.
Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the TPSO director, said the improved demand has caused prices for products and services, particularly those in Bangkok and other areas in the central region, to rise.
She said this year’s CPI is likely to range 0.71-1.7 percent in line with the economic recovery.
The CPI is expected to average 0.6% in the first quarter and to continue edging up in the second quarter, citing long holidays during
he Songkran Festival in mid-April and the recent minimum wage hike which is to become effective next month.
Meanwhile, Thai exports rose steadily with export value in January fetching over US$ 20 billion, or 17.6%, the highest in five years, according to the Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC).
The value of Thai exports in January stood at US$20.1 billion, an increase of 17.6% year on year, TNSC reported.
The TNSC said motor vehicles and parts, computer components, and food contributed to the record growth.
It said it would maintain the 2018 export growth target at 5.5% year on year on average, due to the global economic recovery, higher fuel prices, and the increasing prices of crops.
However, fluctuations in the US currency, trade barriers, and the nationwide minimum wage hike have been noted as risk factors.
TNSC president Ghayapad Tantipipatpong said US restrictions on trade under the America First policy, and countermeasures of its trade partners, which are currently intensifying, must be monitored closely.
Four types of Thai products have so far been affected by the US measures, including a hike in import duties on washing machines, solar panels, steel and aluminum and rubber bands.
Source: Thai PBS