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Thailand: Headline inflation posts 0.02% decline in August

Headline inflation in August contracted 0.02% year-on-year, the first drop in five months, after the decline of fresh food prices and the government’s launch of stimulus measures to ease the cost of living during the pandemic, says Wuttipong Jittungsakul, deputy spokesperson of the Fiscal Policy Office.

He said some economic indicators in August showed signs of lower growth than in July. This is in line with declining private consumption and investment because of the prolonged pandemic.

However, exports continued to expand for the sixth consecutive month.

Sales of passenger cars and newly registered motorcycles in August contracted 35% and 29.2% year-on-year, respectively. Their sales reflected local consumption of durable goods, said Mr Wuttipong.

These trends are in line with the fall in the consumer confidence index to 39.6 in August from 40.9 in July, as people are still worried about the prolonged outbreak, he said.

The collection of value-added tax expanded 12.4% year-on-year in August as a result of surging imports.

Sales of commercial cars in August plummeted 40.5% year-on-year, which reflects the slowdown of private investment in machinery.

Sales of cement, one indicator of the property sector, shrank 6.8% year-on-year.

The volume of capital goods imports rose 21.6% year-on-year.

Export value in US dollar terms in August rose 8.9% year-on-year to US$22 million, the sixth consecutive month of expansion.

Exports excluding oil and gold increased 19.4% year-on-year.

Export merchandise with strong growth included farm products, food and products related to working from home, such as computers and components, mobile phones, microwaves and TVs.

Exports to main trading partners expanded in all markets.

Shipments to India grew 44.2% year-on-year, while those to China expanded 32.3%, those to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines grew 26.9%, while those to the US gained 16.2%.

The number of foreign tourists in the Phuket sandbox and other projects, including those with Thailand Privilege Cards, stood at 15,105, with the majority from the US, the UK, France and Germany.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2189843/headline-inflation-posts-0-02-decline-in-august