Thailand’s inflation rate fell for the fifth straight month in May amid lower electricity and fuel prices. However, experts warned that inflation could rebound due to a possible increase in minimum wages and the upcoming drought season.
Wichanun Niwatjinda, Deputy Director of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, reported that the country’s inflation rate fell to 0.53% in May – the lowest in 21 months. Non-food and non-drink prices fell 1.83% despite increases in vegetable and egg prices due to reduced production. Meanwhile, the price of processed food has increased as a result of higher production costs.
Despite the low inflation rate, the deputy director warned various factors – such as the upcoming drought season, which would disrupt production, and the proposed minimum wage increase, which will affect production costs – could cause inflation to rise in the coming months.
The Thai National Shippers’ Council meanwhile reported that industrial exports, including electronic equipment and appliances to the U.S. and China, decreased by 7.6% in April year-on-year. It forecast that export growth would decrease by 1% year on year in 2023, urging the new government to promote more exports while taking care not to jeopardize small and medium-sized firms while adjusting policy rates.