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Thai central bank raises policy rate to 10-year high

BANGKOK, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's central bank raised its key policy rate to a 10-year high on Wednesday to control inflation and maintain policy flexibility amidst slowing economic growth and global uncertainties.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) monetary policy committee voted unanimously to raise the policy rate from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent, bringing the key policy rate to its highest since October 2013.

The Thai economy continued to recover despite a slower pace due to soft external demand, the BOT said in a statement, adding that the committee is monitoring inflationary pressures from the government's proposed economic stimulus measures.

The central bank projects headline inflation at 1.6 percent this year, as government living-cost subsidies and a high base last year would keep inflation low for the rest of 2023. However, the possibility of higher food prices poses an upside risk if the El Nino phenomenon intensifies.

The Southeast Asian country's inflation inched up 0.88 percent year on year in August, dropping below the BOT target range of 1 to 3 percent for the fourth straight month.