BoT urges time frame

BoT urges time frame

Thailand's central bank should consider a time frame this year for monetary policy tightening, with the economy likely to grow by at least 4%, says Paiboon Kittisrikangwan, deputy governor of the Bank of Thailand.

The central bank has left its policy interest rate unchanged at 1.50%, near record lows, since April 2015 as Southeast Asia's second-largest economy has struggled to gain traction.

Most economists expect no policy change for the rest of 2018, while some predict rate hikes in the second half of the year. The bank last raised its policy rate in August 2011, a 0.25-point hike to 3.50%.

While the economy continues to face risks, "the overall picture is satisfactory and GDP this year is likely to grow no less than 4%," he said in an interview posted on Facebook.

The central bank has forecast the economy will grow 3.9% this year, the same as in 2017, which was the fastest pace in five years. But growth is still heavily reliant on exports, while domestic consumption continues to lag. It will review its growth projection at its next policy meeting on March 28. Reuters

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