Prices claw upwards in November

Prices claw upwards in November

Consumer prices, which gauge headline inflation, ended four consecutive months of deceleration in November.

On Monday, the Commerce Ministry revealed overall consumer prices rose 0.21% year-on-year in November, quickening from 0.11% in October, 0.32% in September, 0.52% in August and 0.98% in July.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.51% from the same month of last year led by rice, flour and cereal products, which rose by 8.92%, meat, poultry and fish, up 1.73%, and eggs and dairy products, up 2.83%.

Non-food and beverages dropped by 0.53%, primarily caused by the decline in all petrol prices by 7.54%.

"Higher prices were driven in part by rising consumption as reflected by an improvement in state income from value-added tax collection for the third straight month and an increase in motorbike registrations. Farmer incomes also rose on higher prices for major agricultural crops," said Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

"This indicates the government's range of stimulus packages and farmer support measures have started to take effect."

Ms Pimchanok said investment demand indicators such as cement sales, steel products sales, commercial vehicle sales, construction material prices and real estate transaction volume all dropped, in part because of the global slowdown and sluggish private investment.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices in November decreased 0.13% from October, mainly due to a fall in the prices of oil prices and some vegetables such as Chinese kale, long beans and morning glory.

Of the 422 product and service items used to gauge inflation, the prices of 228 items rose from October, including sticky rice, eggs, pork, house rent, electric fees and public transport.

Prices decreased for 106 items such as Chinese kale, long beans, morning glory, seasonings, retail petrol and cooking oil. Other items saw no change.

Annual core inflation in November, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was up 0.47%, and up 0.03% month-on-month from October.

For the first 11 months, headline inflation was 0.69% from the same period last year, while core inflation was 0.53% from last year.

"The overall price level is consistent with the market supply and demand conditions," she said. "The government's stimulus measures will play an important part in lifting the economy in the fourth quarter and the year ahead, causing the inflation rate for December to keep rising. The inflation rate will be 0.7-0.8 % this year."

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