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Economist at UOB Group Barnabas Gan assesses the latest Bank of Thailand (BoT) monetary policy meeting.

Key Quotes

“The Bank of Thailand (BOT) kept its one-day repurchase rate unchanged at 0.50% as widely expected for the seventh consecutive meeting on 24 March 2021. The last time it made a move was in May 2020, when the benchmark rate was cut by 25 bps. The decision to keep its policy rate unchanged was voted unanimously by all committee members.”

“While keeping its benchmark rate unchanged, the monetary policy statement adopted a seemingly more negative tone as compared to the previous February statement.”

“Moreover, the Bank of Thailand downgraded its GDP growth outlook to 3.0% in 2021, and 4.7% in 2022, from a previous growth outlook (last reviewed in December) of 3.2% and 4.8% in 2021 and 2022, respectively.”

“In all, we keep our call for BOT to leave its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.50% for the whole of 2021. Still, Thailand’s economic growth is likely to be uneven, amid pronounced downside risks should COVID-19 worsens. Should macroeconomic fundamentals stay unexpectedly subdued into 2H21, a 25 bps rate cut could materialise then.”