BANGKOK — Thailand’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate steady on Wednesday, as expected after last month’s surprise cut, but lowered its forecast for 2019 economic growth and predicted that exports will contract.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT)’s monetary policy committee voted unanimously to keep the one-day repurchase rate at 1.50%.

In August, the committee cut the rate a quarter point, the first easing since 2015.

In a Reuters poll, 13 of 20 economists predicted no policy change.

The BOT now predicts 2019 economic growth of 2.8%, rather than the 3.3% seen three months ago. It expects exports to contract 1%, compared with no growth seen earlier.

In 2018, Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy expanded 4.1%, the most in six years. — Reuters