Thailand Cuts Rate for Third Time as Economic Crisis Worsens

The Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark interest rate to a fresh record low and said it was ready to use additional policy tools if needed with the economy expected to shrink further. By a 4-3 vote, the central bank lowered the policy rate Wednesday by 25 basis points to 0.5%, its third cut this year, Bloomberg News reported. All but three of 24 economists in a Bloomberg survey correctly predicted the decision, with the others expecting no change. The central bank “looks ready to use other, albeit unspecified tools, which implies other measures aside from policy easing, especially as the room for lower rates is declining,” said Mitul Kotecha, a senior emerging markets strategist at TD Securities in Singapore. Thailand’s economy contracted the most since 2011 in the first quarter as the pandemic slammed the nation’s two key drivers - exports and tourism. Read more