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Thai central bank chief says monetary policy supportive, high risk to growth
[BANGKOK] Thailand's economy is recovering at a gradual but uneven pace and monetary policy is still supportive in the face of high downside risks, the central bank governor said on Thursday.
High household debt levels will make it difficult to stimulate the economy by lending to households, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told a news conference.
On Feb 3, the central bank's monetary policy committee unanimously left the policy rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent, near a record low of 1.25 per cent, saying fiscal spending would help growth.
In December, the central bank cut its 2016 economic growth forecast to 3.5 per cent from 3.7 per cent. It is due to give a new projection next month.
Although an army coup in May 2014 restored some stability, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy has still been hit hard by sluggish exports and domestic demand at a time of high household debt levels.
The junta has stepped up spending and approved various stimulus measures in a bit to boost activity.