Cost of living up again in July

Cost of living up again in July

A woman uses her mobile phone while tending her shop in Kimyong market in Songkhla's Hat Yai district in February 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A woman uses her mobile phone while tending her shop in Kimyong market in Songkhla's Hat Yai district in February 2016. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Annual headline consumer prices rose for a fourth straight month in July, driven by higher prices of food and cigarettes, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday.

The headline CPI index edged up 0.1% in July from a year earlier after rising 0.38% in June. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 0.45% in June.

The index stood at 106.68 points in July, down 0.35% from 107.05 in June.

The CPI index for food and non-alcoholic beverage sector in July rose 1.83%  while the non-food sector dropped by 0.84% from the same month in 2015.   

July's annual core inflation, which strips out raw food and energy prices, was 0.76%, slightly below the 0.80% both in the poll and the June result. 

Inflation in Thailand has also been held down by government price controls, subsidies and sluggish consumption at a time when household debt remains high.

Low inflation is one reason the Bank of Thailand has left its policy interest rate unchanged at 1.50% since April 2015. The rate is just a quarter point above the record low during the global financial crisis of the 1990s. The central bank next reviews monetary policy on Aug 3, and most economists expect no change.


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