(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s central bank is confident inflation will return to target next year, signaling there was no rush to change monetary policy settings just yet to check price gains hovering around a 13-year high.
“Inflation is no doubt trending higher,” Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. “It’s relatively concentrated in energy and food. And we don’t see the kind of demand-side inflationary pressures in terms of an overheating economy.”
Bank of Thailand is among the few central banks in Asia that have stood pat on rates to support the economy’s recovery, despite facing consumer prices that have accelerated faster than its 1%-3% target range this year. Some central banks in the region, including India, Malaysia and the Philippines have in recent weeks turned their focus to fighting price pressures after initially holding off raising rates.
“I would like to point out that the inflation in Thailand as with many countries in Asia is quite different from what we see in advanced economies,” Sethaput said. “We are in a different part of the economic cycle than the advanced economies are.”
Thailand’s main economic forecasting agency last week lowered the growth estimate for 2022 while raising inflation expectations. The slower full-year outlook contrasts with a better-than-expected performance last quarter, amid rising tourist arrivals and exports.
Here some more excerpts from the interview:
- “The baht is depreciating. That tends to feed into higher headline inflation,” governor says
- Key is to ensure that there won’t be a second-round inflation impact, he says, adding that headline inflation is expected to ease to 1.7% next year
- BOT is trying to ensure that economic recovery is intact
- Baht volatility this time is different compared to the Asian financial crisis and largely due to dollar strength which is beyond BOT’s control
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