BoT keeps key interest rate unchanged

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BANGKOK, Aug 9 (TNA) -- The Bank of Thailand (BoT) keeps the policy rate unchanged at 1.5 percent while vowing to monitor risks arising from trade protectionism.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Thailand decided to maintain the policy rate in a voting on Wednesday.

Jaturong Jantarangs, Secretary of the MPC, said the Committee members voted 6 to 1 in favor of the decision.

In the discussion to assess Thai economy, the members viewed that the current accommodative monetary policy remained conducive to the continuation of economic growth, the MPC statement released after the meeting says.

The only member who voted to raise the policy rate, however, viewed that “prolonged monetary accommodation might induce households and businesses to underestimate potential changes in financial conditions in order to curb financial stability risks,” the statement says.

The MPC noted that Thailand’s tourism industry was on a negative trend and might not reach targets, Jaturong said.

Nevertheless, the Thai economy as a whole continued to gain driven by strong exports which continued to improve and expected to achieve higher growth than previously assessed, he said.

On assessing risk factors, the MPC noted that Thailand needed to closely monitor US foreign trade policies and retaliatory measures from trading partners of the US, added Jaturong. (TNA)