Deputy PM projects 2011 inflation rate at 4.1 per cent

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BANGKOK, Aug 31 – Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong forecast that the country’s inflation rate for the whole year is likely to be 4.1 per cent, higher than the previous commerce ministry forecast of 3.2-3.7 per cent.

After the government cut oil prices, consumer goods manufacturers are set to reduce their prices. Fruit and vegetable transport costs will lessen, likely meaning lower produce prices, he said.

Although the ministry previously projected inflation to remain around 3.2-3.7 per cent, he analysed the inflation rate month-on-month and year-on-year and predicted inflation for the whole of this year is likely to stay at around 4.1 per cent.

The commerce minister expressed confidence that inflation was likely to drop after the government applied its measures to help reduce costs.

Mr Kittirat said that controlling prices of consumer goods to reduce the cost of living is necessary. The ‘blue flag’ project to sell consumer goods at prices lower than market rates may be adjusted. Rice will be given a priority to be sold under the so-called blue flag project as rice prices tend to rise.

The ratio of selling bagged rice under the blue flag will be considered to avoid any impact on bagged rice producers.

In the cabinet meeting next week, approval to establish a National Rice Policy Committee will be sought to pave the way for launching the rice mortgage scheme, said the commerce minister.