Thailand Inflation Falls for Ninth Straight Month in September

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The FINANCIAL — Thailand’s consumer prices continued to fall in September because of lower global oil prices, but at a slightly slower pace than the previous month, according to Nasdaq.

The Commerce Ministry reported on October 1 that the country’s headline inflation fell in September, the ninth straight month of contraction, by 1.07% from last year and 0.05% from August.

A poll of economists by The Wall Street Journal predicted Thailand’s September headline consumer-price index would fall 1.07% year-over-year and 0.03% month-over-month.

From January to September, headline CPI dropped 0.9% from a year ago, the ministry said.

Somkiat Triratpan, director of the ministry’s Trade and Strategy Bureau, said at a news conference that inflation remained negative in September because of falling oil prices, electricity charges and prices of some food items.

Thailand’s core consumer-price index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.96% on-year and 0.07% on-month. Median forecasts by The Wall Street Journal Poll expected September core CPI to increase 0.9% from a year ago but stay flat sequentially.

During the first nine months of this year, core inflation rose 1.12% year-over-year.

The ministry also cut its 2015 inflation-rate target to a range of -1.0% to -0.2% from the earlier projection of 0.6% to 1.3%. The ministry’s revision followed the Bank of Thailand’s recent move to lower its headline CPI projection for this year to -0.9% from -0.5%, citing the possibility of slower economic recovery and a further decline in global oil prices.

“With energy prices remaining low, and notwithstanding base effects, we expect CPI inflation to remain in negative territory through 2015,” said Barclays in its note.

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ANZ Research also doesn’t expect a strong upswing in Thailand’s inflation soon, even though the Thai baht has weakened more than 10% against the dollar since the beginning of the year.

“As our recent study has highlighted, the exchange rate pass-through in inflation is low for Thailand, which can be attributed to firms [being] unable to pass on the costs of higher imports due to intense domestic competition, low inflation expectations, and administered price measures, ” ANZ said in a note.



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