Thai central bank holds policy rate steady to support economic recovery


Thailand’s central bank on Wednesday maintained its key interest rate at a low level again amid efforts to promote economic recovery.

The Bank of Thailand Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held the policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent, for the 11th straight meeting and since May 2020, citing high uncertainties of the economic outlook.

The MPC maintained its growth forecast for the economy at 0.7 percent this year, but raised that for 2022 to 3.9 percent from the projection of 3.7 percent it made in August.

Although the economy in the third quarter of 2021 was affected by pandemic control measures and a slowdown in exports, progress on vaccination and earlier-than-expected easing of restrictions would help restore private sector confidence and boost private consumption for the rest of 2021, said Titanun Mallikamas, secretary of the MPC.

Titanun said the MPC would continue to put emphasis on supporting the economic recovery, and stand ready to use additional appropriate monetary policy tools if necessary.

Thailand on Thursday reported 11,646 new COVID-19 cases and 107 more deaths, taking the total number of infections to nearly 1.6 million and the death toll to 16,727 since the pandemic began, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the country’s COVID-19 task force.

On Monday, the CCSA approved a package of measures to ease restrictions, including shortening the mandatory quarantine period for those who arriving from Oct. 1 and allowing more businesses and venues to reopen in 29 regions under the maximum control, including the capital Bangkok.