Inflation? What inflation?

The cost of living is not surging out of control and the perception that it is lies basically in people's minds and not reality, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday.

By Terry Fredrickson

Thai people perceive the cost of living is rising, but in reality it is not, the prime minster said yesterday. The idea that prices are surging is a product of an overactive imagination.

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Inflation? What inflation?

When it comes to the prices of the goods they buy, Thai people have an overactive imagination, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday
The cost of living is not surging out of control and the perception that it is lies basically in people's minds and not reality, she said.

"The flood and the hot weather, when combined, could make people feel that product prices are more expensive," Ms Yingluck said. "From the information gathered by the government, we can assure you that prices are on a downward trend."

"The weather was hot in April and it was a month with high expenses such as tuition fees. When these factors are combined, it is possible to think that goods prices are higher," she said.

Many factories had just reopened following last year's great flood and they should be in full operation in the second half of this year. Prices should return to normal levels by then, she said.

She said the government will continue to implement measures to help the general public, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises and low-income earners.

Some of the government's short term measures were to increase the minimum salary of civil servants with bachelor degrees to 15,000 baht a month and the daily minimum wage to 300 baht, she said.

Not surprisingly, the Democrat Party had a different view of the situation. Party members say they will ask the House panel on commerce to investigate possible manipulation of the inflation rate and consumer price index.

This follows the disclosure of the April inflation number which stood at 2.47% – the lowest in 29 months and down from 3.45% in March.

Democrat MP for Phitsanulok Warong Dejkitwikrom said the Commerce Ministry used figures which were below actual goods prices in calculating April inflation.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post

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    inflation – a general rise in the prices of services and goods in a particular country, resulting in a fall in the value of money  เงินเฟ้อ
    overactive – too active, especially so that they imagine things that are not true; causing harm by doing something too much
    imagination – the ability to form pictures in the mind จินตนาการ
    surge – a sudden increase in something การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว
    perception – a particular way of understanding or thinking about something ความเข้าใจ
    mind – the part of a person that makes them able to be aware of things, to think and to feel; your ability to think and reason; your intelligence; the particular way that somebody thinks สติปัญญา, จิตใจ, ความรู้สึกนึกคิด
    reality – what is actually happening ความเป็นจริง
    combined – counted together รวมกัน
    gather – to search for and find things that you need or want รวบรวม
    assure – to tell someone that something is true or will definitely happen ให้ความมั่นใจ, ยืนยัน
    trend – a gradual change or development that produces a particular result   ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
    tuition fees – money paid to attend classes ค่าเล่าเรียน
    factor – a fact or situation which influences the result of something ปัจจัย
    factory – a building or group of buildings where goods are made โรงงาน
    in operation – working; doing business ดำเนินการ
    normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ภาวะปกติ
    level – the amount of something that exists in a particular situation at a particular time  ระดับ
    implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้
    measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
    general public – people in general ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน
    particularly – especially, or more than usual โดยเฉพาะ
    enterprise – an organization, especially a business กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ
    income – money that someone gets from working or from investing money รายได้
    minimum – as small in amount or degree as necessary or possible จำนวนน้อยที่สุด, ปริมาณต่ำที่สุด
    salary – a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน
    civil servant – someone who works for a government department ข้าราชการ
    bachelor’s degree – the first degree that you get when you study at a university. Bachelor’s degrees include Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) ระดับปริญญาตรี
    minimum wage – the lowest wage, daily or hourly, allowed by law ค่าจ้างขั้นต่ำ
    panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
    commerce – trade, especially between countries; the buying and selling of goods and services  การค้าขายสินค้า, ธุรกิจการค้า (commerce minister รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพาณิชย์)
    investigate – to try to find out the facts about something in order to learn the truth about it ตรวจสอบหาความจริง
    manipulation – the process of influencing or controlling something in a clever and dishonest way
    consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
    consumer price index – a list of the prices of some ordinary goods and services which shows how much these prices change each month ดัชนีราคาผู้บริโภค
    disclosure – information or a fact that is made known or public that was previously secret or private  การเปิดเผย
    figure – a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข
    goods – things that are produced to be sold; possessions that can be moved สินค้า, สิ่งของ
    calculate – to discover a number or amount using  mathematics คำนวน