Deputy puts 2024 inflation at 1.5%

Deputy puts 2024 inflation at 1.5%

Economic risk factors for 2024 including natural disasters and government stimulus measures are expected to affect the Thai inflation rate, says Deputy Finance Minister Krisada Chinavicharana.

During a keynote speech on Monday at Top News Forum, Mr Krisada said the Thai inflation level is expected to be 1.5% in 2024, while crude oil prices should be US$80-90 per barrel, on par with this year. This is considered a positive sign as it would help reduce inflationary pressures.

However, he said risk factors such as natural disasters in various regions of the world could affect the supply and prices of goods, while Thai government stimulus measures should increase domestic consumption, both affecting inflation.

Mr Krisada said compared with other countries, Thailand remained in the "low inflation" group and continued to post the lowest rate in Asean.

Global economic recession may also affect the Thai economy as the global economy is expected to expand by 3% this year and 2.9% next year, according to an International Monetary Fund forecast.

The economies of Thailand's major trading partners, such as the US, China and Japan, are expected to slow.

The value of the baht next year is projected in a range of 35-36 per dollar, which should mean the country's trade will be stable, he said. The slow Chinese recovery will also hamper the recovery of the Thai tourism sector, said Mr Krisada.

The Fiscal Policy Office forecast foreign arrivals this year of 27-28 million and next year 34 million.

In terms of economic stability, Thai financial institutions have a Bank for International Settlement ratio of 19.9%, while the Bank of Thailand threshold is set at 8.5%.

The government's public debt level is 62% of GDP, lower than the 70% ceiling in the fiscal discipline framework.

The treasury balance at the end of September was 500 billion baht and reserves 200 billion. The current account is projected to record a surplus of 1% of GDP.

Mr Krisada said other risks include tensions in the Middle East and Europe, rising interest rates, volatility in capital flows, and the country's ageing demographics that could lead to a labour shortage.

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