March inflation rises 3.45%

March inflation rises 3.45%

The general consumer price index (CPI) for March was up by 3.45 per cent from February and by 0.59 per cent from last March, to stand at 114.30, the Ministry of Commerce reported on Tuesday.

The average CPI for the first quarter of the year rose by 3.39 per cent from the same period last year, according to the ministry.

The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, for March stood at 107.73, up 2.77 per cent from the same month last year and an increase of 0.33 per cent on February, boosting the average core CPI for the first quarter to go up by 2.74 per cent from the same period last year, the ministry said.

The price index for food and beverage in March went up 7.07 per cent on the same month last year and 0.66 per cent on February, to stand at 136.57. The price index for non-food and beverage for the month stood at 101.42, up 1.23 per cent from last March and an increase of 0.55 per cent from February.

The average monthly inflation slightly increased in line with the rising on production and transportation costs caused by the global oil prices hike and the increase in state Oil Fund levy on petrol by the government, the ministry said.

A central bank official said the weekend car bomb attacks in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district and Yala province have not affected the money market.

"Foreign direct investment still continued to flow into and out of Thailand as usual. The value of the baht was stable in line with market mechanism of the region," said Singchai Bunyayothin, senior director for money market division at the Bank of Thailand.

He said it was not necessary for the central bank to intervene in the money market or to implement additional measures to stabilise the baht.

Somchart Pimthanapoonporn, chief of Songkhla Tourism Business Council and the Hat Yai-Songkhla Hoteliers Association, said the car bomb in Hat Yai has hurt tourism and local business. More than half of the 12,500 room bookings for Songkran had been cancelled as a result.

He believed it would be three to six months before the situation returned to normal.

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