Thai inflation rises 3.53% in December, lowest in 8 months: Commerce Ministry

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BANGKOK, Jan 4 – Thailand’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December edged up to 112.77, an increase of 3.53 per cent year-on-year, or the lowest inflation rate growth in eight months, Permanent Secretary for Commerce Yanyong Phuangrach announced on Wednesday.

The low inflation rate was attributed to lower production costs, owing to the retreating floodwaters and better weather, and the government’s continuous policy to lower living expenses and to closely monitor consumer prices.

The 2011 CPI rose by 3.81 per cent, compared to 2010, Mr Yanyong said, and was previously anticipated by the ministry at 3.2-3.8 per cent.

Mr Yanyong said Thailand’s inflation rate was the fourth lowest in Asia, following Japan, Brunei and Malaysia respectively.

The Consumer Price Index in December declined 0.48 per cent compared to November, in accordance with the lower prices of some fresh goods after normality resumed in the post-flood period.

December’s core CPI rose 2.66 per cent year-on-year and 0.11 per cent compared to November, resulting in an average 2011 core CPI increase of 2.36 per cent compared to 2010.

The commerce ministry has set the 2012 inflation target within the range of 3.3-3.8 per cent under the conditions that the Dubai crude oil price stays around US$95-115 per barrel, the baht remains at 29-33 to the dollar, and the government maintains its policy to lower the cost of living.

Key factors, which most directly influence the country’s inflation, were the global economy, politics, natural disasters, oil prices and currency exchange rates. Inflation in this year’s Q1 was forecast at 3.65-3.75 per cent.