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Thai December headline inflation rate seen quickening to 0.9%: Reuters poll

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s annual headline inflation rate in December likely quickened from the previous month but remained below the central bank’s target for the seventh straight month, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The headline consumer price index (CPI) is forecast to rise 0.9% in December from a year earlier after November’s 0.21% increase, according to the median forecast of nine economists in the poll.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) forecast headline inflation of 0.7% for this year and 0.8% for 2020.

That will still be lower than the central bank’s official target range of 1%-4% for 2019 and 1%-3% for 2020. The target is reviewed each year.

The core inflation rate, which strips out energy and fresh food prices, was seen at 0.5% in December, according to the poll. It was 0.47% in November.

On Dec. 18, the BOT left its benchmark interest rate <THCBIR=ECI> unchanged at a record low of 1.25% after two cuts earlier in 2019 to support flagging economic growth.

(Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Orathai Sriring and Subhranshu Sahu)

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