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Analysts hold breath on interest rates

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Economists are still at odds over whether the Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will lower its policy interest rate tomorrow to boost lukewarm economic growth amid enduring political turbulence. 

Usara Wilaipich, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank, said the rate-setting committee may have difficulty in making the decision as there are downside risks to economic growth from political tensions and a further rate cut could accelerate persistent capital outflows.

The political turmoil has weakened consumer confidence and encouraged capital outflows, while the baht's retreat to a three-year low has pushed up importers' costs.

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