© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Thai baht notes are seen at a Kasikornbank in Bangkok, Thailand, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s government is planning to keep its budget deficit to no more than 3% of gross domestic product in the 2023 fiscal year, the finance minister said on Tuesday, aiming for a deficit of 593 billion baht ($17.13 billion).
Arkhom Termpittayapaisith also said the inflation target range of 1% to 3% was appropriate and monetary policy would ensure continued recovery of the economy.
The inflation target will help maintain price stability and keep medium-term inflation expectations anchored, he told a news conference.
Headline inflation was 5.55% in November, far above the Bank of Thailand’s target range, but Arkhom said it would gradually fall back to within the target in 2023.
The country’s public debt was expected at 61.35% of GDP at the end of the 2023 fiscal year starting Oct. 1, he said.
The central bank recently it would continue to gradually raise its key interest rate for a while until the economy grew at its full potential and inflation returned to target.
It has raised the benchmark rate by a total 75 basis points since August to 1.25%, and economists expected a further rate hike next month.
($1 = 34.62 baht)