Inflation Picks Up In Thailand

April 2004
Asia Monitor: South East Asia Monitor Volume 1;Apr2004, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p2
Country Report
Country Report
Inflation in Thailand during 2003 averaged 1.8 percent an increase from just 0.7% in 2002 but within the Bank of Thailand's target range of 1.5-2.0 percent. Despite this modest rise in inflation, there are few real signs that the economy as a whole is overheating. For example, inflation, while now above the bank's target, is still regarded as manageable, and Thailand continues to run a healthy balance of payments surplus. Housing loans by commercial banks in October rose by 15 percent y-o-y. Moreover, housing loans now account for more than 13 percent of bank lending, an increase from 11 percent at the end of 2001. An impact assessment by the Thailand Development Research Institute and the American Chamber of Commerce, for example, predicts that a bilateral free-trade agreement would boost Thai exports to the U.S. by 3.4 percent and increase gross domestic product by up to 1.3 percent.


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