April headline inflation up 3.41% y/y, beats forecast

April headline inflation up 3.41% y/y, beats forecast

A vendor waits for a customer to select vegetables at Pak Kret market in Pak Kret district in Nonthaburi on April 24, 2021. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
A vendor waits for a customer to select vegetables at Pak Kret market in Pak Kret district in Nonthaburi on April 24, 2021. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The annual headline consumer price index (CPI) in April rose for the first time in 14 months due to higher oil and food prices in addition to the ending of government subsidies on utilities, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday.

The headline April CPI increased a more than expected 3.41% from a year earlier, also the fastest pace in more than eight years, beating a forecast for a rise of 2.50% in a Reuters poll.

The index is likely to increase further in May, unless the government brings in additional subsidies on utilities, as energy prices remain high and after coming off a very low base level last year, the ministry said in a statement.

Government subsidies on utilities usually reduce the CPI growth by 2 percentage points, a ministry official told a briefing.

In April, the core CPI index rose 0.30% from a year earlier, also above a forecast for a 0.18% increase.

In the January-April period, the headline CPI rose 0.43% from a year earlier, while the core index was up 0.16%.

The cabinet meets on Wednesday to consider additional relief measures to ease the impact of a third wave of coronavirus infections.

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