BoT pauses rate, downgrades GDP

BoT pauses rate, downgrades GDP

The Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep its benchmark rate unchanged when it met on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post photo)
The Bank of Thailand's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to keep its benchmark rate unchanged when it met on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post photo)

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) kept its benchmark rate on hold at 0.50% on Wednesday to preserve policy space amid heightened economic headwinds, but predicted a deeper GDP contraction of 8.1% for 2020.

The central bank's monetary policy committee (MPC) voted unanimously to leave the one-day repurchase rate untouched.

The BoT in March sharply downgraded its forecast of Thailand's full-year economic outlook to a 5.3% contraction.

The economy is heading for recession after shrinking 1.8% year-on-year in the first quarter, the steepest decline since 2011's fourth quarter, when the country was suffering the worst flooding in decades.

The central bank's latest economic forecast appears more pessimistic than that of the National Economic and Social Development Council, the state planning agency, which sees a contraction of 5-6% this year.

The central bank, however, raised its forecast for Thai economic growth next year to 5% from the 3% predicted in March, MPC secretary Titanun Mallikamas said.

Headline inflation is expected to be minus 1.7% this year before bouncing back to 0.9% next year, he said.

The MPC was concerned that the baht's strength against the US dollar could deal another blow to the country's economy. It would need to evaluate whether additional measures to curb the baht's value are need, he said.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (15)

Carcass of rare dugong found floating in Sattahip bay

CHON BURI: The carcass of a dugong, a rare marine mammal known as payoon in Thai, was found floating in Sattahip bay in Sattahip district on Tuesday.

13:51

Former Chinese leader Hu in first public appearance since dramatic Congress exit

BEIJING: Former Chinese leader Hu Jintao was seen in public for the first time since he was dramatically escorted out of a top Communist Party meeting, when he paid respects to his late predecessor Jiang Zemin on Monday.

12:45

Indonesian parliament approves legislation to outlaw extra-marital sex

Indonesia's parliament approved Tuesday legislation that would outlaw pre-marital sex while making other sweeping changes to the criminal code -- a move critics deemed as a setback to the country's freedoms.

12:38