Inflation in Thailand hit 7.1% in May as the prolonged Russia invasion of Ukraine considerably raised the prices of oil and fresh food worldwide, the Trade Policy and Strategy Office said.
TPSO Director-General Ronnarong Phoolpipat said the consumer price index stood at 106.62 in May, compared with 100 for all of 2019. Like other countries, Thailand is seeing high inflation because demand rose in line with economic recovery, supplies were tight and international boycotts worsened the imbalance between supplies and demand.
Inflation is likely to rise even higher in June because oil prices are high compared with the same month last year, the local diesel price cap was raised, the gradual increase in the cooking gas price was set to continue this month and the fuel tariff of electricity would rise, Ronnarong said.
While diesel will be capped at 34 baht a gallon as of June 7, gasoline prices continue to rise, with gasohol 95 price at 44.65 baht a liter as of Sunday and gasohol 91 at 44.38 baht.
Prices for consumer products and food also continue to rise despite the government controlling the prices for many items. Thai Wholesale & Retail Trade Association said products seeing cost increases included Golden Mountain seasoning sauce (up 1-2 baht) and Yum Yum instant noodle (up 10 satang on May 1.) Retail prices for noodles remain unchanged due to government caps.
Moreover, the price of various brands of ready-to-drink coffee was raised from 15 baht to 17 baht.
Regular buyers know prices of many products are going up, but the country’s minimum wage remains unchanged, with Chonburi at 336 baht a day.
Labor Minister Suchart Chomklin said last week that the minimum daily wage will increase this year, although the increase will not be significant.
Suchart said the increase will be determined by a national tripartite wage committee, which will also consider the rising cost of living. The increase will not be significant, he warned, so as not to damage businesses struggling from the coronavirus pandemic.