February’s inflation rises to highest since 2008 on energy surge

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Thailand’s headline consumer price index (CPI) in February jumped beyond expectations by 5.28 per cent year-on-year, driven by a spike in energy prices, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday.

The figures exceeded market expectations of around a 4-per-cent rise, as global fuel prices continued to climb along with domestic food prices. In January, CPI rose by 3.2 per cent year-on-year.

Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said the headline inflation in February was the highest level seen since September 2008.

He noted that there is no need for the government’s action to tone down the inflation rate, but he warned that the Russia-Ukraine crisis will lead to rising fuel prices in the coming days.

Addressing people’s hardship, Ronnarong said the authorities will continue to alleviate the burden of the Thai people. “We have been collaborating with the private sector to keep product prices under control so that they do not affect consumers.”

“The mounting inflation in this particular month does not represent the real living costs,’ he added.

The ministry still maintains its full-year projection of inflation rate at the median of 1.5 per cent, despite ongoing concerns that the rate may exceed the target. 

The core CPI index, which excludes food and energy categories, rose 1.8 per cent year-on-year. 

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