Thailand’s inflation in March highest in 13 years, likely to increase
Thailand’s inflation in March increased to 5.73% year on year, which is the highest monthly rise in 13 years, largely due to the price increases for oil, electricity and food as a result of the war in Ukraine, according to Director of the Commerce Ministry’s Office of Trade Policy and Strategy Ronnarong Poonphiphat.
The average inflation rate for the first quarter was 4.75% and the office has adjusted the inflation projection for the whole year, from 0.7%-2.4% to 4.5%, based on the assumption that Thailand’s growth rate projection is 3.4%-4.5%, crude oil price averages 90-110 US dollars per barrel and the exchange rate of the Thai baht against the US dollar is between 32 and 34 baht.
The prices of energy-related goods for March increased by 32.43%. These include a 31.43% rise in the oil price, a 39.95% rise in electricity charges, a 9.96% increase in vegetable prices, a 5.74% increase in meat prices, a 6.08% rise in the price of dairy products, and an 8.16% increase in the price of street food, such as noodles and rice with curry.
Ronnarong said inflation in April is likely to increase further due to the war in Ukraine, which is expected to intensify, the fluctuation in global oil prices and a rise in cooking gas prices.
The prospect of stagflation, he said, will not be an issue of concern if Thailand’s economy continues to grow, with tourism and export expansion and if the government continues to roll out economic stimulus packages.