March 8, 2018 / 5:23 AM / 8 months ago

Thai monetary policy needs to remain accommodative - c.bank chief

BANGKOK, March 8 (Reuters) - Thailand’s monetary policy needs to remain accommodative to aid the country’s economic recovery as inflationary pressure remains soft, the central bank governor said on Thursday.

“I’ve said that interest rates and monetary policy will depend mainly on the domestic economy,” Veerathai Santiprabhob told reporters.

“There is no need to rush to increase (rates) immediately, even as other countries raise their rates,” he said.

Although the economic recovery is clearer, there are still some fragile areas, he added.

He said rate differentials did not have an impact on foreign exchange rates, as the baht is hovering near four-year highs against the dollar.

The BOT has left its policy interest rate unchanged at 1.50 percent, near record lows, since April 2015 as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy has struggled to gain traction.

Most economists expect no policy change for the rest of 2018, while some predict rate hikes in the second half of the year. The BOT last raised its policy rate in August 2011, a quarter-point increase to 3.50 percent. (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Sam Holmes)

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