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Financial News: Thai Central Bank Holds Key Rate As Expected

Thai Central Bank Holds Key Rate As Expected

11/08/2017 - 03:00:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Thailand's central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged as policymakers assessed that monetary policy stance remained conducive for continuation of economic growth.

The Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to maintain the policy rate at 1.50 percent, the Bank of Thailand said in a statement on Wednesday. The decision was in line with economists' expectations.

The benchmark rate has been at the current level since April 2015, when it was reduced by a quarter point.

The MPC said the economy would grow more than previous assessment driven by growth in merchandise exports and improvement in domestic demand.

"The Committee viewed that the current accommodative monetary policy stance remained conducive to the continuation of economic growth and should foster the return of headline inflation to target although this could take some time," the bank said.

Nonetheless, the central bank cautioned that improved growth outlook was subject to both domestic and external risks that warranted close monitoring.

Headline inflation was projected to slowly rise from the recovery in domestic demand, an increase in excise tax, and regulations on immigrant workers that might affect wages going forward.

Looking ahead, Krystal Tan, an economist at Capital Economics, said the central bank will be content to keep rates at their current low level over the next year or so. With the economy on a firmer footing, further rate cuts are not necessary.

Also, the BoT will be in no hurry to raise rates either, the economist added. Despite the rebound in the economy, price pressures remain very low.

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