January inflation jumps 3.2%

January inflation jumps 3.2%

High oil prices main factor, no government action needed yet, says Commerce Ministry

An attendant prepares to fill a customer’s car at a PTT station in Bangkok. (File photo: Bangkok Post)
An attendant prepares to fill a customer’s car at a PTT station in Bangkok. (File photo: Bangkok Post)

Thailand’s consumer price index (CPI) jumped by more than expected in January, rising to a nine-month high of 3.2% from a year earlier, driven by a rise in energy prices, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday.

The reading compared with a forecast for a rise of just 2.4% in a Reuters poll of economists, and represented a significant rise from 2.2% in December.

However, inflation in January was considered not that high and would not require government action yet, said Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director-general of the ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

The main CPI in February is expected to rise but not at a high level, in line with the economic situation on both the demand and supply side, the ministry said in a statement.

The core CPI index, which strips out volatile fresh food and energy prices, was up 0.5% in January from a year earlier, versus a forecast for a rise of 0.4%.

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