Headline inflation in March saw Thailand’s highest year-on-year increase in 13 years, the Trade Policy and Strategy Office said on April 5. Headline inflation was recorded at 104.79 points, up 5.73 per cent from the same month last year.
Trade Policy and Strategy Office chief Ronnarong Phoolpipat told a press conference that March headline inflation had also increased month-on-month, by 0.66 per cent compared to February’s 104.10 points.
Headline inflation in February had already broken a 13-year record with an increase of 5.28 per cent, but it was even higher in March, Ronnarong said.
The increase in headline inflation was 4.75 per cent in the first quarter, compared to the same quarter last year, Ronnarong said.
He added that core inflation in March, which excludes the impact from fresh food and energy prices, stood at 102.43 points, an increase of 0.23 per cent from February and 2.0 per cent year on year.
Ronnarong said headline inflation rose steeply in March because energy prices spiked by 32.43 per cent. He said the main impact – 32.43 per cent – came from the rise in oil prices, and 39.95 per cent from the increase in power bills. Moreover, the prices of fresh vegetables increased by 9.96 per cent, meat, pork and chicken by 5.74 per cent, and eggs and milk by 6.08 per cent.
Ronnarong said March saw increases in the prices of 280 items, including electricity, fuel, lunch meals per dish, cooking oil and water bills.
He said the trend of the first three months showed that inflation would continue to increase in April as the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine conflict still has an impact on prices.
Ronnarong added that his office had adjusted the estimated inflation of 2022 from 0.7-2.4 per cent to four-to-five per cent. The initial inflation estimate was made in November last year, before the conflict broke out, so the estimate was revised based on the current situation, he added.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK