Tue, 29 Nov 2022

BANGKOK, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's central bank on Wednesday raised its key policy rate for a second straight meeting, by 0.25 percentage point, in an effort to curb the rising inflation and support economic recovery.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) monetary policy committee voted unanimously to raise the policy rate from 0.75 percent to 1 percent, effective immediately.

The move came after a 0.25-percentage-point rate hike announced at the monetary policy committee meeting on Aug. 10, the country's first rate hike since late 2018.

In Wednesday's statement, the committee said "a gradual policy normalization remains an appropriate course for monetary policy" as economic recovery continues to strengthen following a larger-than-expected number of foreign tourist arrivals, while headline inflation remains at a high level.

"Although the risk of global slowdown has heightened, the impact on the Thai economy would be limited," it said, warning risks about the impact of rising living costs on private consumption.

The BOT maintained its economic growth forecast of 3.3 percent for 2022, but cut its growth projection for 2023 to 3.8 percent from 4.2 percent it made in June.

The central bank said the inflation outlook is still subject to upside risks. It expected the inflation growth to stand at 6.3 percent this year, up from a projection of 6.2 percent it made in June, before declining to 2.6 percent in 2023.

Fueled by surging energy and food prices, Thailand's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 7.86 percent year on year in August, the highest level since July 2008, far above the central bank's target range of 1-3 percent set for this year.

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