March 10 (Bloomberg) — Thailand kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a seventh meeting, refraining from following neighbor Malaysia in raising borrowing costs as political protests threaten the nation’s economic recovery.
The government plans to invoke the Internal Security Act to control anti-government protests this weekend, amid concerns political unrest will hurt an economy that emerged from a recession last quarter. The central bank said it will likely raise interest rates in the coming months if the recovery is sustained, as the need for accommodative monetary policy eases.
“Given the lingering political uncertainties and also ahead of the protest, I suppose the central bank wants to see the extent of the impact socially and economically,” Julia Goh, an economist at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, said before the decision. “The demand pressure is still moderate. There is no urgency to raise the interest rate at this point.”