Thai economy recovering as financial conditions tightened – central bank minutes

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s economic recovery is intact but structural impediments could limit positive impact of the global economy on exports, and credit quality must be monitored, minutes of the Bank of Thailand’s Nov. 29 monetary policy meeting showed on Wednesday.

The BOT said financial conditions had tightened and it was monitoring the credit quality of small businesses and households.

At the meeting, the monetary policy committee unanimously voted to keep its one-day repurchase interest rate unchanged at 2.50%, the highest in a decade, after hiking it by 200 basis points since August last year to curb inflation.

The committee said the policy rate was appropriate for long-term growth, but saw urgency in providing a lift to the economy including infrastructure investment and labour upskilling programmes, the minutes showed.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy grew much lower than expected at 1.5% in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace this year, on weak exports and government spending.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has said the economy is in a “crisis”.

The central bank will next review policy rates on Feb. 7, when most economists expect no policy change.

($1 = 35.6700 baht)

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)