Thailand: Arkhom says ‘nothing serious’ as baht hits 37.78 per dollar, 16-year low

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is closely monitoring the baht currency’s weakness but there has been no big concern yet, the finance minister said on Monday, as the currency hit its lowest in 16 years against the dollar.

“On baht weakness, the central bank is always taking care of what we’ve assigned. There isn’t much of anything right now. Nothing serious still,” Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told reporters.

The baht was trading at 37.78 per dollar at 2.03pm, a 16-year low against the dollar. 

So far this year It has depreciated about 11.5% against the greenback, which also hit a record high against the British pound on Monday . 

Despite headline inflation breaching the BoT’s target range of 1% to 3%, the government still has no plans to adjust the range for 2023, Mr Arkhom said. The inflation target is reviewed every year.

Headline inflation was 7.86% in August, a 14-year high.

The finance ministry is tackling inflation with measures on goods and energy prices while the BoT is using monetary policy.

The central bank is expected to raise its key interest rate again on Wednesday after hiking the rate in August for the first time in nearly four years to contain inflation.

Earlier on Monday, BoT Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput told a forum that the economy is improving and expanding but its recovery remains uneven between each sector.

He also said Thailand’s household debt to GDP ratio was about 88% as of the end of June.