The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Thai central bank has decided to maintain the policy interest rate at 2.5 percent for the rest of this year in order to give support to economic expansion, local media reported on August 22.

The decision came a day after the country's economy was announced to have shrunk unexpectedly in the second quarter of the year and there are concerns that the world market's volatility is posing an increasing risk to Thailand's economic growth.

MPC members said that they are placing greater emphasis on economic expansion, and remain concerned over a possible bubble in the real estate sector. However, they decided not to raise the policy rate at this time because they are also worried about rapidly rising household debts.

Although the MPC maintained its forecast of 2013's GDP growth at 4.2 percent, it admitted there is a risk that growth could fall below 4 percent.-VNA