* Sept headline CPI +3.38 pct y/y (+3.20 pct in Reuters poll
* Sept core CPI +1.89 pct y/y vs +1.80 pct in poll
* Sept food/drink prices +3.66 pct y/y vs +4.02 pct in Aug
* Headline inflation 2.94 pct in first nine months of 2012
BANGKOK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Data from the Commerce Ministry:
Thai consumer price index (base 2007)
Month Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Headline CPI 116.67 116.28 115.82 115.42 115.23 114.78 %y/y change +3.38 +2.69 +2.73 +2.56 +2.53 +2.47 %m/m change +0.34 +0.40 +0.35 +0.16 +0.39 +0.42 Core CPI 108.77 108.52 108.34 108.31 108.15 107.84 %y/y change +1.89 +1.76 +1.87 +1.92 +1.95 +2.13 %m/m change +0.23 +0.17 +0.03 +0.15 +0.29 +0.10 Food/Beverage %y/y change +3.66 +4.02 +5.42 +4.72 +5.18 +4.51 %m/m change +0.31 +0.31 +0.47 0.00 +1.41 +0.65 Non-Food/Beverage %y/y change +3.20 +1.84 +1.03 +1.17 +0.83 +1.18 %m/m change +0.36 +0.44 +0.28 +0.28 -0.28 +0.26 LINKS: Reuters poll CONTEXT
- Thailand's inflation has been relatively contained, held down by government price controls and subsidies on energy, utilities and public transport, plus a slowdown in the global economy.
- The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has forecast headline inflation of 2.9 percent for this year and core inflation of 2.2 percent.
- The central bank aims to keep core inflation, which strips out more volatile fresh food and energy prices, in a range of 0.5-3.0 percent and it sets monetary policy to achieve that.
- The BOT left its benchmark interest rate
at 3 percent for a fifth meeting on Sept. 5 after cutting it in November and January to help business, which suffered during devastating flooding last year. [[ID:nL4E8K414Q]
- The central bank says it is ready to adjust the policy rate if needed. However, Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said recently that cutting rates to support economic growth could undermine financial stability as credit growth is already strong.
- Many economists do not expect any change in rates for the rest of 2012 due to strong domestic demand. But a few think a rate cut is possible, particularly after sharper-than-expected falls in August factory output and exports.
- The BOT said last week it planned to trim its already scaled-down export growth forecast of 7 percent for this year. But it has said its 2012 economic growth projection of 5.7 percent could still be achieved. In 2011, the economy grew just 0.1 percent due to heavy flooding late in the year.
(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Kim Coghill and Alan Raybould)
Keywords: THAILAND ECONOMY/CPI