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Thai September consumer prices fall for ninth straight month

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 12:31
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A shopper stands with an Apple Inc. iPhone and shopping bags as others walk through the Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, on Dec 3, 2014. Thailand's annual headline consumer prices declined for a ninth consecutive month in September, mainly due to lower oil prices, providing the central bank room to keep interest rates low to support a flagging economy.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's annual headline consumer prices declined for a ninth consecutive month in September, mainly due to lower oil prices, providing the central bank room to keep interest rates low to support a flagging economy.

The index, published by the Commerce Ministry on Thursday, fell 1.07 per cent in September from a year earlier, in line with a Reuters poll forecast for a 1.08 per cent drop.

The core inflation rate, which strips out raw food and energy prices, rose slightly to 0.96 per cent in September from 0.89 per cent in August.

The ministry said it sees headline CPI down 0.2-1.0 per cent this year and reiterated that risk of deflation was low.

Inflation has also been held down by government price controls and stubbornly weak consumption since a military coup in May 2014 ended months of political unrest.

After two surprise cuts in March and April, the central bank has since left its policy interest rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent - just above the record low of 1.25 per cent seen during the global financial crisis.

It next reviews policy on Nov 4, and economists expect no change this year in the face of a weak baht and recent economic measures.

REUTERS