MPC to revise GDP forecast upward

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BANGKOK, May 17 (TNA) -- The Bank of Thailand (BoT)'s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) plans to revise its projected economic growth rate upward this year for positive economic data while maintaining its policy rate at 1.50%.

Jaturong Jantarangs, secretary to the MPC, said the committee reached a unanimous decision to maintain the policy rate as it expected the economy to expand faster than earlier anticipated due to exports and tourism. Earlier the MPC expected the economic growth rate for this year at 4.1 per cent.

However, Mr Jaturong said monetary policies would continue to be relaxed for a certain period to support economic growth because household debts were capping consumption.

He admitted that funds had been flowing out of the country’s stock and bond markets at a medium rate since early this year but that had a limited impact because Thailand had a large amount of foreign-exchange reserves.

Mr Jaturong also said that the fluctuating value of baht, US-China trade retaliations, the rising oil price and geopolitical issues would remain as risk factors of the economy.

The MPC maintained its prediction on headline inflation at 1 per cent. (TNA)