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Thai November consumer prices fall for 11th straight month
[BANGKOK] Thailand's annual headline consumer prices slipped for an 11th consecutive month in November, driven by lower oil prices, giving the central bank leeway to keep interest rates low to support a sputtering economy.
The index, published by the Commerce Ministry on Tuesday, fell 0.97 per cent in November from a year earlier, compared with a Reuters poll forecast for a 0.71 per cent decline.
The core inflation rate, which strips out raw food and energy prices, was at 0.88 per cent in November, slightly lower than 0.95 per cent in the previous month.
Consumer prices have also been held down by state price controls and weak consumption since an army coup in May last year ended months of political turmoil.
The central bank's monetary policy committee has left the benchmark interest rate steady at 1.50 per cent, near the record low of 1.25 per cent, since surprise back-to-back cuts this year to shore up confidence.
The committee next reviews policy on Dec 16. Most economists expect no policy change for the time being.