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Thai inflation rate stays positive for second straight month

BANGKOK (Reuters) -- Thailand's headline consumer price index (CPI) rose in May for a second straight month, up 1.54% from a year earlier, and after showing an annual rise of 0.19% the previous month, the commerce ministry said on Friday.

A Reuters poll had forecast an increase of 1.19%.

The actual increase marks the first time since April 2023 that the headline inflation rate returned to the central bank's target range of 1% to 3%.

The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.39% year-on-year in May.

In the first five months of 2024, the average headline CPI dropped 0.13% from a year earlier, with the core rate up 0.42%.

The ministry maintained its headline inflation forecast for the year at 0% to 1%. It said the CPI would likely rise slowly in June.

In April, the central bank left its key interest rate at a more than decade-high of 2.5%.

The next rate review is on June 12, when most economists expect no policy change.