January 11, 2010 |
|Reviving economy, higher oil prices to blame but will have minimal effect.|
Inflation is expected to rise 3-3.5 per cent this year after falling 0.9 per cent last year, on recoveries in the economy, commodity prices and consumer spending.
"Inflation should increase gradually this year as the economy is reviving and oil prices are heading back up. But it should not increase a lot, because most consumer goods prices will be unchanged," Commerce Ministry permanent secretary Yanyong Phuangrach said yesterday.
Last year's inflation rate of minus 0.9 per cent was within the ministry's forecast of minus 1 percent to zero, which reflected lower oil prices and the sluggish economy.
The 3-3.5-per-cent annual target for this year assumes the Dubai oil price averaging US$70 to $80 (Bt2,300 to 2,700) per barrel and a baht exchange rate of 31-33 to the US dollar.
The annual target is also based on the government extending its five measures to reduce consumers' cost of living.
Last year, prices of food and beverages increased 4.4 per cent, while prices of non-food and beverages decreased 4.8 per cent, mainly from the decline in oil prices.
Yanyong said the return of inflation to positive territory would be measured, because consumers would be in a better mood to spend their money this year following the economic rebound, while most consumer goods prices would remain unchanged. The oil price is also expected to drop slightly this year.
To ensure inflation grows smoothly along with economic growth, the government must accelerate its Thai Khemkhaeng stimulus spending and stick by its accommodative interest rate policy, the ministry said.
Last month, the Consumer Price Index rose 3.5 per cent year on year, increasing for the third straight month.
The food and beverage sector was up 2.2 per cent on year, due to higher prices for rice, flour, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruit, while the non-food and beverage sector jumped 4.3 per cent year on year, mainly on transportation and telecommunications. Month-on-month inflation fell 0.1 per cent.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, inched up 0.2 per cent year on year while remaining unchanged from November.
Core inflation for the full year came in at 0.3 per cent.
By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
|Nome completo della società||Kingdom of Thailand|
|Paese di registrazione||Thailand|