Thai central bank holds key rate, cuts 2019 growth, export forecasts

Thai central bank holds key rate, cuts 2019 growth, export forecasts

 

2019-03-20T072710Z_1_LYNXNPEF2J0JB_RTROPTP_4_THAILAND-ECONOMY-TRADE-CONSUMPTION.JPGFILE PHOTO: Thailand's central bank is seen at the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand in this April 26, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady for a second straight meeting on Wednesday as expected, and cut its forecasts for economic growth and exports this year.

 

The Bank of Thailand (BOT)'s monetary policy committee held the one-day repurchase rate at 1.75 percent.

 

All 19 economists polled by Reuters had predicted no change to policy.

 

The bank held its fire at the February review after hiking the rate by 25 basis points in December for the first time in more than seven years and from near record lows.

 

The BOT now expects 2019 economic growth of 3.8 percent, rather than 4.0 percent seen three months ago. It predicts exports will rise 3.0 percent, rather than increase 3.8 percent seen earlier.

 

The BOT forecasts headline inflation of 1.0 percent this year, unchanged from December.

 

In 2018, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy expanded 4.1 percent, the highest rate in six years.

 

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon and Orathai Sriring; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-03-20
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