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Financial News: Thai Central Bank Keeps Rate Unchanged

Thai Central Bank Keeps Rate Unchanged

07/05/2017 - 06:32:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Thailand's central bank kept its key rate unchanged amid improving growth outlook and softening inflation.

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 bank noted that economic outlook improved on the back of external demand, while domestic demand expansion was not yet sufficiently broad-based.

Headline inflation softened and might fall below the lower bound of the target in some periods mainly due to supply-side factors, the bank said. Inflation was forecast to slowly rise in the latter half of the year, supported by supply-side factors and recovery of domestic demand.

Policymakers assessed that monetary policy should remain accommodative, and would stand ready to utilize available policy tools to sustain economic growth while also ensuring financial stability.

The accompanying statement suggests the central bank is in no rush to adjust rates any time soon, Gareth Leather, a senior economist at Capital Economics, said.

The economist expects the BoT to keep interest rates unchanged at 1.50 percent for the rest of this year and next.

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