UPDATE 1-Thai c.bank holds policy rate, says economy in recovery

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(adds description, comments from statement)

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* C.Bank keeps key rate at record low 0.5%, as expected

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*says economy may grow closer to forecast

BANGKOK, Nov 10 (Businesshala) – Thailand’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low on Wednesday, as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy tries to revive its vital tourism sector.

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In efforts to restart tourism, the “Land of Smiles” reopened to vaccinated visitors without quarantine requirements from November 1 after more than a year of strict entry restrictions.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Thailand (BOT) unanimously voted for the 12th straight meeting to keep the one-day repurchase rate at 0.50%, as expected by all 21 economists in a Businesshala poll here.

Last year, the rate was cut three times to reduce the impact of the corona virus epidemic.

“The committee assessed that the Thai economy had bottomed out in the third quarter of 2021 and entered a recovery phase after the easing of containment measures and the country’s reopening,” the BOT said in a statement. Here after the policy meeting

However, the fragile economic recovery outlook will still be subject to uncertainties, it added.

The BOT said the Thai economy would expand at a pace close to the previous projection for 2021 and 2022, on the back of domestic spending, which gradually recovered after easing control measures, partially bridging the adverse impact of higher global energy prices. is largely offsetting, the bot said.

In September, the BOT forecast economic growth of 0.7% this year and 200,000 foreign tourists. Next year, it predicted 3.9% GDP growth and 6 million foreign arrivals.

In 2019, about 40 million foreign visitors spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.6 billion).

The BOT said the baht was more volatile and that it would closely monitor developments in both global and domestic financial markets and would continue to work on improving structural issues in the forex system. ($1 = 33.14 baht)

Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitifong Thaicharon and Satwasin Stapoornacharanchai Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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