April inflation hits 2.45%, with gradual price rises forecast for rest of year

Economy May 02, 2014 00:00

By Petchanet Pratruangkrai


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The Consumer Price Index is projected to increase gradually for the rest of the year on concern over drought causing a lower supply of fresh food and livestock, as well as the rising cost of fuel and electricity amid the depreciation of the baht.

The Commerce Ministry yesterday reported that goods prices are expected to rise in the following months on higher cost of raw materials. However, the CPI will be controlled by the ministry.

The CPI last month was 2.45 per cent above April of last year. It was the biggest increase in 13 months, since March 2013.

Month on month, inflation was 0.5 per cent.

Inflation for the first four months was 2.2 per cent year on year.

"Goods prices are expected to rise in the following months as the drought could cause higher production costs, while an increase

of the Ft electricity charge will also push up the cost of production.

"But prices should not go up much as consumers and the private sector are concerned about economic growth amid the political uncertainty," Amparwan Pichalai, adviser to the ministry and

director of the Trade Policy and Strategy Bureau, said yesterday.

The ministry projects inflation this quarter at 2.4 per cent, resulting in inflation of 2.2 per cent in the first half.

This will ensure that inflation will be manageable at 2-2.8 per cent this year.

The spurt in inflation last month was due mainly to food and fuel. The cost of food and beverages shot up a stark 4.61 per cent, while the non-food and beverage sector increased only 1.33 per cent year on year.

Of the 417 consumer goods in the inflation basket, its survey found that the retail prices for 196 products had remained steady, for 63 products had decreased and for 191 products had increased last month.

In April, core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, advanced 1.66 per cent on year and 0.40 per cent from March.

In the first four months, core inflation was measured at 1.31 per cent – well within the Bank of Thailand’s annual policy target range of 0.5-3 per cent.