Thais vulnerable to income shock from economic slowdown, says central bank


The central bank is concerned about the rising household debts, Titanun Mallikamas, assistant Bank of Thailand governor responsible for monetary policy, said on September 2.

His comment came after the National Economic and Social Development Council raised an alarm about rising household debts at a press conference the same day. 
Household debt nationwide stood at Bt13 trillion, rising by 6.3 per cent and accounting for 78.7 per cent of the total GDP – which has been the highest level since the first quarter of 2017. 
“We are closely monitoring household debts, as Thai families are vulnerable to an income shock during the economic slowdown,” he said. 
As for the low inflation rate of 0.52 per cent in August, which raising concerns about the risk of economic deflation, he said that inflation in the recent months was lower than the 1-per-cent target for the entire year. 
He noted that at its last meeting, the central bank’s monetary policy committee expressed worries about low inflation and slower economic growth, leading to a decision to cut the rate by 25 basis points to 1.5 per cent.
He further said that the central bank’s move will help boost economic growth and inflation rate could return to the target of 1 per cent. The central bank and Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana will discuss the inflation target and subsequent monetary policy later, he said. 
However, Titinun did not indicate that the central bank will lower its interest rate again.