Thailand: Inflation slows for 3 months in a row

Thailand’s inflation rate slowed for a third straight month in November helped by a fall in food prices, especially for fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, meats and seasonings.

The Commerce Ministry yesterday reported headline inflation, gauged by the consumer price index (CPI), decelerated for three consecutive months, coming in at 5.55% in November from the same month last year, down from rises of 5.98% and 6.41% in October and September, respectively.

Poonpong Naiyanapakorn, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry, said Thailand’s inflation rate was relatively low compared with other countries including the US, the UK, Italy, Mexico, India, as well as some other Asean states such as Laos, the Philippines and Singapore.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw an 8.40% growth year-on-year in November, decelerating from a 9.58% growth in October.

The main contribution was a significant drop in the prices of fresh vegetables (Chinese cabbage, Chinese kale, celery, pumpkin), following a high yield compared with the previous year.

Moreover, the prices of fruits, pork, fresh chicken and seasonings declined in line with high supply compared with the previous year while domestic demand rose slightly.

The Ministry of Commerce’s price control measures that balance producers, sellers and consumers also contributed.

Non-food and alcoholic beverages recorded a 3.59% year-on-year growth, following a rise in energy prices including fuel, electricity and liquefied petroleum gas, as well as public transport fares. Also, the prices of items such as detergents, softeners, toothpaste and shampoo slightly increased.

Core inflation, which excludes raw food and energy prices, posted a year-on-year rise of 3.22% in November, compared with 3.17% in October.

On a month-on-month basis, CPI rose by 0.33% from September, attributed to the rising prices of fresh vegetables due to floods in many farming areas.

Core inflation, which excludes raw food and energy prices, posted a year-on-year rise of 3.17% in October, compared with 3.12% in September, driven largely by high production costs from energy prices that lead to a rise in the prices of goods and services.

On a month-on-month basis, CPI rose by 0.13% from October, following declining prices of fresh fruits and vegetables (morning glory, Chinese kale, tangerines, guavas), pork, eggs, rice and seasonings (vegetable oil, dried/shredded coconut).