BANGKOK, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's central bank on Wednesday decided to raise its key policy rate for a third straight time, by 0.25 percentage point, in an effort to balance efforts between easing inflation and supporting economic growth.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) monetary policy committee voted unanimously to raise the policy rate from 1 percent to 1.25 percent, effective immediately.
The move came after a 0.25-percentage-point rate hike announced at the monetary policy committee meeting on Sept. 28 and another one on Aug. 10, the country's first rate hike since late 2018.
Wednesday's rate hike, in line with market expectations, brought the key policy rate to its highest level since February 2020.
Thailand's economic recovery has continued to gain traction, with tourism and private consumption remaining key economic drivers while the financial system is resilient, but the headline inflation is expected to be higher than the previous projection for 2023 due to domestic energy prices, the BOT said in a statement on its website.
The statement said a gradual policy normalization remains an appropriate course for monetary policy given the growth and inflation outlook, adding that the size and timing of policy normalization will be adjusted if needed.
Thailand's inflation growth slowed to 5.98 percent in October, from 6.41 percent in September and a 14-year-high of 7.86 percent in August.
The central bank expected headline inflation to rise 6.3 percent year on year in 2022, before declining to 3 percent in 2023 and 2.1 percent in 2024. It expected the economy to grow 3.2 percent in 2022, 3.7 percent in 2023 and 3.9 percent in 2024. ■