Thai PM: will keep urging central bank to cut rates

By Thomson Reuters Feb 9, 2024 | 4:37 AM

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Friday he will continue to urge the central bank to cut interest rates.

His comments on social media platform X come just days after the Bank of Thailand left the key rate unchanged at 2.50%, the highest level in more than a decade, in a split vote.

Two of seven rate-setting members voted for a quarter-point cut. The central bank will next review policy on April 10.

Srettha said interest rates were a big matter and can help people with their expenses without having to rely on the state budget.

He said he would keep trying to “convince the Bank of Thailand to sympathise with the people who are struggling. I won’t give up and will keep trying”.

Srettha, who is also finance minister, has been at loggerheads with the central bank over the direction of monetary policy and has repeatedly urged it to lower rates, saying small businesses and debtors are suffering.

On Thursday, a central bank official said the bank was ready to cut borrowing costs if private consumption dropped sharply and any cuts would be small.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai writing by Chayut Setboonsarng, Edited by Kanupriya Kapoor)