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Thai May consumer prices rise for 2nd month

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Thailand's annual headline consumer prices rose for a second straight month in May, mainly driven by higher food prices due to drought, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's annual headline consumer prices rose for a second straight month in May, mainly driven by higher food prices due to drought, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.

The headline CPI index increased 0.46 per cent in May from a year earlier after rising 0.07 per cent in April, its first annual gain in 15 months. A Reuters poll forecast a rise of 0.19 per cent in May.

The core inflation rate, which strips out raw food and energy prices, was 0.78 per cent in May, compared with 0.81 per cent seen in the poll and 0.78 per cent in April.

Inflation in Thailand has been held down by government price controls, subsidies and soft consumption at a time when household debt remains high.

The Bank of Thailand has left its policy interest rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent since April 2015. The rate is just 25 basis points above the record low reached during the global financial crisis.

The central bank next reviews monetary policy on June 22, and most economists expect no change.

REUTERS