Thai central bank raises policy rate to 2 pct

A 0.25-percentage-point rate hike announced by Thailand’s central bank brings the key policy rate to its highest level since early 2015.

BANGKOK, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Thailand’s central bank has decided to raise its key policy rate by another 0.25 percentage point to ease inflation growth.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) monetary policy committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to raise the policy rate from 1.75 percent to 2.00 percent, bringing the key policy rate to its highest level since early 2015.

Thailand’s economy continues to improve, driven by tourism and private consumption, while exports are expected to pick up gradually, the BOT said in a statement on its website.

The statement said a gradual and measured policy normalization remains an appropriate course for monetary policy towards long-term sustainable growth, adding that the size and timing of policy normalization will be adjusted if needed.

The central bank expected headline inflation to gradually decline and return to the target range of 1 percent to 3 percent, given the easing electricity and gasoline prices. It projected headline inflation growth to stabilize at 2.0 percent year on year in 2023 and 2024.

The BOT expected the country’s economic growth this year and next year to range between 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent year on year as improved income and employment generated from an increasing number of foreign arrivals will sustain private consumption.