The Ministry of Commerce said inflation rate for March this year rose by 0.79% year-on-year, a sustained nine month increase.
The ministry attributed the increase to the rise in consumption and household expenditures for non-fresh produce.
Local prices for vegetables and rice rose for the first time in 30 months, according to the Ministry’s report.
This has driven inflation for the first quarter of this year up to 0.64%, it said and projected that for the second quarter, this rise will continue and will exceed 1%.
In any event, the ministry feels that the minimum wage hike which became effective on April 1 will not unduly influence inflation rates and manufacturers had no need to raise prices.
The ministry said manufacturers have pegged their inflation projections for the year at between 0.7 to 1.7%.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand announced that the Business Sentimetn Index (BSI) for March rose to 53.3–the highest point since May 2013.
This rise applies to nearly every sector from manufacturing to non-manufacturing industries and is most evident for the petro-chemical, rubber and plastics, foods, drinks, electronics, general trade and logistics sector due to significant growths in orders and demand.
The BSI, developed by the Bank of Thailand, is made up of six components: production, total order books, investment, production cost, performance, and employment. Index = 50 indicates that the respondents’ business sentiment remains stable from the previous month; index > 50 indicates that the respondents’ business sentiment has improved from the previous month.