Thai headline CPI rises 5.98% y/y in Oct, slightly below forecast

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s headline consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.98% in October from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, slightly lower than forecast and the slowest pace in six months.

The rise follows September’s 6.41% increase and was just shy of the 6.0% forecast in a Reuters poll. It was the lowest since April’s 4.65%.

The core CPI index, which strips out energy and fresh food prices, was up 3.17% in October from a year ago, versus a forecast rise of 3.20%, the commerce ministry said.

Inflation in November would slow due to lower consumer goods prices while other prices remained stable despite increasing costs, helped by government measures to ease the cost of living, the ministry said in a statement.

However, high energy costs, the weak baht currency and rising domestic demand could limit the rate of the decline.

“The inflation situation is slowing,” senior commerce official Poonpong Naiyanapakorn told a briefing.

“It is expected to slow in the remaining two months,” he said.

Headline inflation forecast for the year is still seen at the 5.5% to 6.5% range, the commerce ministry said.

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon, Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)