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BoT expected to raise rates amid higher tourism growth

BoT expected to raise rates amid higher tourism growth

BANGKOK: The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday (Jan 25) to curb elevated inflation, with further hikes likely even as China’s reopening brightens the economic outlook.

economicstourismChinese
By National News Bureau of Thailand

Monday 23 January 2023, 06:36PM


Photo: NNT

Photo: NNT

While price pressures in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy have been cooling, inflation in December was still 5.89% – well above the central bank’s 1-3% target, reports state news agency NNT.

Twenty-one of 23 economists polled by Reuters expect the BOT to raise its benchmark one-day repurchase rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 1.50% on January 25. The remaining two forecast no change, the NNT report noted.

Thailand, one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, is expected to receive at least 5 million Chinese tourists and a total of 25mn foreign visitors this year, providing a much needed boost to an economy severely impacted by the global pandemic.

The poll showed Thailand’s economy is expected to expand 3.7-3.8% this year and next, respectively, in line with government projections.

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Nearly 70% of respondents, or 15 of 22, expect another hike of 25 basis points to 1.75% by end-March. Six forecast rates at 1.5% by then, and one said it would still be at 1.25%.

The poll median showed that the central bank would then raise borrowing costs by another 25 bps, taking it to 2% by end-September.

Poll medians showed inflation would average 2.8% this year and then fall to 1.9% in 2024.

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