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UPDATE 1-Thailand to freeze prices of many goods for 6 months
June 6, 2014 / 10:31 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Thailand to freeze prices of many goods for 6 months

* Price freeze to ease living costs, boost economy and confidence

* Headline inflation in May hits 14-month high of 2.62 pct yr/yr

* Economy hurt by months of political unrest

BANGKOK, June 6 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Commerce Ministry said on Friday that prices of many consumer goods would be frozen for six months to November to hold down living costs and boost the economy and confidence.

“Producers of 205 categories of necessary consumer goods are happy to freeze prices for six months,” the ministry’s permanent secretary, Srirat Rastapana, who is acting minister under a military government that seized power on May 22, said in a statement after meeting with companies and trade associations.

Those consumer goods include beverages, rice, palm oil, instant foods, dairy products, household products, animal feed and fertiliser.

Inflation in Thailand accelerated in May to a 14-month high of 2.62 percent from a year earlier due to higher food and energy prices, with the core rate, which excludes fresh food and energy, picking up to 1.75 percent. {ID:nL3N0OJ0GX]

Thais have been complaining about a rise in the cost of living although consumer confidence rose in May, after the coup, for the first time in 14 months.

The economy contracted 2.1 percent in the first quarter from the previous three months, hurt by months of political unrest.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Alan Raybould and Jacqueline Wong

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