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Thai Nov consumer prices rise for 8th straight month

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 12:07
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Thailand's November headline consumer prices rose on an annual basis for an eighth straight month and at their fastest pace in almost two years, driven by higher food and oil prices, commerce ministry data showed on Thursday.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's November headline consumer prices rose on an annual basis for an eighth straight month and at their fastest pace in almost two years, driven by higher food and oil prices, commerce ministry data showed on Thursday.

But the inflation rate remains low, giving the central bank room to keep borrowing costs easy to help the sputtering economy.

The headline CPI index increased 0.60 per cent in November from a year earlier after October's 0.34 per cent rise. A Reuters poll had forecast an annual rise of 0.66 per cent in November.

November's annual core inflation rate, which strips out raw food and energy prices, was 0.72 per cent, compared with 0.74 per cent seen in the poll.

The ministry has forecast headline CPI will be flat to one per cent higher this year and will rise 1.5-2.0 per cent next year.

Inflation in Thailand has been held down by state price controls, subsidies and sluggish consumption.

The Bank of Thailand has left its policy interest rate at 1.50 per cent, near a record low, since a 25-basis-point cut in April 2015.

It next reviews monetary policy on Dec 21, the final meeting of this year, when most economists expect no change.

REUTERS