BANGKOK, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's consumer inflation growth moderated slightly in July, data showed on Friday, before the central bank monetary policy committee meeting due for next week with a widely-expected policy rate hike.
The country's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, rose 7.61 percent year on year in July, compared with a 14-year high of 7.66 percent registered in June, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
However, the core CPI, which excludes raw food and energy prices, rose at a faster pace of 2.99 percent last month, up from June's 2.51-percent increase, fueling concerns that the inflation pressure is spreading and adding pressure on the central bank to raise the key policy rate.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) monetary policy committee is scheduled to meet on Aug. 10, and analysts expected the committee to lift the policy rate from a record low of 0.5 percent to contain inflation.
BOT governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput has said the central bank would raise the key rates in a gradual manner to ensure that the economic recovery would not be derailed.
During the first seven months of the year, Thailand's CPI increased 5.89 percent year on year, above the central bank's annual target range of 1-3 percent set for 2022.
The commerce ministry expected the country's CPI to rise within a range of 5.5-6.5 percent this year. ■