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BANGKOK (NNT) – Several cost of living reduction measures by the government and lower fresh food pricing have resulted in a slight decrease in Thailand’s inflation rate in March, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce.

The Ministry of Commerce reported a 0.08% reduction in the inflation rate in March, which is the smallest decline recorded in 13 months.

The Trade Policy and Strategy Office’s (TPSO) Deputy Director General Wichanun Niwatjinda, said today this low reduction in March’s inflation rate is a result of the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout that has helped improve the pandemic situation. This development has led to a price increase in energy products.

Prices of 430 items in March were used to calculate the inflation rate, among which the pricing of 213 products increased, from gasohol to pork, vegetable oil, and instant food.

The prices of 66 items in March remained unchanged, while the pricing of 148 items decreased, including water, electricity, and cooking gas rates.

The increase in fuel prices has led to the increase in pricing of related categories, including vehicles, transportation, and communication.

With the March inflation rate released, the overall inflation rate for Q1 2021 has shown a 0.53% recession year-on-year. The TPSO is however, projecting an upward trend in the inflation rate starting this month due to higher fuel prices this year, and the end of several financial aid campaigns from the government, especially the special utility rates.

The TPSO still maintains its projection for the 2021 inflation rate, expecting an increase within the margin of 0.7-1.7%, or an average of 1.2%, thanks to continual aid campaigns issued by the government, and intended to help the general public reduce their cost of living.

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