May consumer prices rise for 2nd month

May consumer prices rise for 2nd month

A shopper shops at a department store in Bangkok May 31. The May consumer price index increase 0.46% year-on-year. (Reuters photo)
A shopper shops at a department store in Bangkok May 31. The May consumer price index increase 0.46% year-on-year. (Reuters photo)

Annual headline consumer prices rose for a second straight month in May, mainly driven by higher food prices due to drought, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.

The headline CPI index increased 0.46% in May from a year earlier after rising 0.07% in April, its first annual gain in 15 months. A Reuters poll forecast a rise of 0.19% in May..

The core inflation rate, which strips out raw food and energy prices, was 0.78% in May, compared with 0.81% seen in the poll and 0.78% in April.

 Inflation has been held down by government price controls, subsidies and soft consumption at a time when household debt remains high. The Bank of Thailand has left its policy interest rate unchanged at 1.50% since April 2015. The rate is just 25 basis points above the record low reached during the global financial crisis.

The central bank next reviews monetary policy on June 22, and most economists expect no change.


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