The Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and said it will ease rules on outflows to curb the currency’s gains.
Five of the seven Monetary Policy Committee members voted to cut the key rate by a quarter-percentage point to 1.25%, the central bank said in a statement.
Officials told reporters in Bangkok that the central bank is worried about the strength of the baht, which may continue to weigh on the economy. The bank will ease rules on outflows and consider further steps to rein in the currency, they said.
Thai authorities are stepping up monetary and fiscal support to spur an economy that’s on course for its weakest growth in five years in 2019. The baht has gained more than 8% against the dollar in the past year, the best performer in emerging markets, curbing exports and tourism in the trade-reliant nation.
The central bank has already taken measures to curb short-term inflows to rein in the currency, and said it’s planning to ease rules on capital outflows.
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