[BANGKOK] Thailand's annual headline inflation eased to a more than 5-year low of 0.6 per cent in December, more than expected, due to a fall in oil, energy and food prices, and giving the central bank room to keep interest rates low to shore up the economy.
The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for headline inflation of 1.1 per cent in December.
The headline rate was the lowest since October 2009.
The core inflation rate, which strips out fresh food and energy prices, increased to 1.69 per cent in December, higher than a 1.57 per cent forecast in the poll.
Inflation in Thailand has been benign, with prices curbed by government controls and subsidies and also weak domestic demand that has been hurt by months of political unrest.