THE COMMERCE Ministry has set the nation’s target inflation for 2019 at 1.2 per cent, the same as for 2018. The ministry also reported that inflation in November was 0.94 per cent higher than the same period last year.
“The Consumer Price Index [CPI] for November has increased by 0.94 per cent year on year, marking the 17th month of consecutive increase in consumer prices,” said the director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, Pimchanok Vonkorpon, yesterday during a press conference.
“These figures indicate that consumer spending remains at a satisfactory level,” she stated, “particularly, the price of durable goods, which increased from 24.1 per cent to 24.3 per cent, growing month on month in November,” according to Pimchanok. “If the 1.2-per-cent target is reached, it will mark the highest inflation level for Thailand in the past four years,” she said.
However, she noted that the CPI figures in November were still considered relatively low, and it was the third consecutive month to see a decline in the CPI growth rate. Month on month, the CPI figures decreased by 0.22 per cent.
“The key reason for the decrease in CPI growth is the recent fall in oil prices,” Pimchanok said.
Meanwhile, the ministry has set the inflation target for the first quarter of 2019 at 1.2 per cent.
“We expect the CPI growth rate to stabilise in 2019, leading us to predict that the first quarter of 2019 will also see a 1.2 per cent increase in consumer prices. This is if the prices of oil and agricultural goods remain stable,” Pimchanok explained. Regionally, Bangkok and its surrounding provinces had the highest CPI figures in November, climbing up to a 1.14 per cent increase year on year. Next was the Central region at 0.99 per cent. The Northwest and South experienced a consumer price increase of 0.92 and 0.88 per cent respectively. The North experienced no price increase.