Energy, food prices drive Thai headline inflation in April up 4.65% y-o-y

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Thailand’s headline consumer price index (CPI) in April climbed by 4.65 per cent year-on-year, down from the previous month but still nearing a record high in 13 years, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

After hitting a decade-high of 5.73-per-cent rise in March, the headline inflation in April kept rising in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

From the beginning of this year, the inflation rate has surpassed the Bank of Thailand’s targeted range of 1 to 3 per cent. In February, the CPI rose by 5.28 per cent year-on-year, following a jump of 3.23 in January.

“What is worrisome is that the prices for goods and services are likely to continue to rise, but at a slower rate,” Ronnarong said. 

According to the ministry, the prices of 279 products increased from a year earlier. These are mostly in the food category such as pork, chicken, lime, and ready-to-eat meals.

The average headline inflation rise in the first four months stood at 4.71 per cent. The current ministry’s projection of headline inflation for 2022 is in a range of 4-5 per cent.

Excluding the energy and food categories, the cors CPI in April rose by 2 per cent year-on-year, with an average increase of 1.58 per cent for the first four months.

As Thailand stopped subsidizing diesel prices from May, Ronnarong expects that the inflation will expand further.

“The cost of commodities rises in line with a spike in energy prices,” Ronnarong added. “The government will closely monitor the impact of sanctions against Russia on international trades.”

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