Thailand's consumer inflation hits 14-year high in June


BANGKOK, July 5 (Xinhua): Thailand's consumer inflation rose to a 14-year high in June, with the central bank under mounting pressure to normalize its monetary policy, official data showed on Tuesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, increased 7.66 per cent year on year in June, the highest level since July 2008, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

On a monthly basis, the CPI edged up 0.9 per cent from May, with the pace of growth moderating from May's 1.4-percent rise.

For the first half of 2022, the CPI rose 5.61 per cent from a year earlier, according to the ministry.

The surge in prices, despite the government's imposing price caps on certain goods and services, came amid rising energy and commodity prices on the global market, and the ministry expected Thailand's inflation to continue to stay at high levels in the third quarter of the year.

The core CPI, which excludes raw food and energy prices, grew 2.51 per cent year on year in June and increased 1.85 per cent during the first half of the year.

Continuously rising prices have put the Bank of Thailand (BOT) in a dilemma as it has refrained from raising the benchmark policy rate to support the pandemic-hit economy. The rate has remained unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent since May 2020.

At the latest BOT monetary policy committee meeting in June, the central bank said "a very accommodative monetary policy will be less needed going forward," and it will assess "the appropriate timing for a gradual policy normalization."

Analysts expect the BOT to raise the key rate in the third quarter of the year.

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