What happened this week 04.03.12 to 08.03.12

Positive(s)

Thailand

  • Inflation slows for second month on subsidies, baht — Inflation slowed for a second straight month in February as government subsidies held down prices and a strong baht made imports cheaper while food prices well. Commerce Ministry figures show annual headline inflation rose by 3.23% YoY last month, down from 3.39% In January and against 3.63% in December, which was the highest since November 2011. The Ministry has now started using 2011 instead of 2007 as the base year for calculating inflation. It has also increased the number of consumer items to 450 from 417. The ministry forecasts headline inflation of 3.3% in the first quarter and of 2.8-3.4% for all of this year. Last year it was 3.02%. (Bangkok Post, 02/03/13)
  • BoT to raise 2013 GDP forecast — The BoT is expected to revise its 2013 GDP forecast upwards to more than 5% at the next MPC meeting, which will be held on April 3. Stimulus measures in developed markets have racked up fund flows of US$7.6trn which is expected to flow into emerging markets, including Thailand. (Krungthep Turakit, 05/03/13)
  • Consumer activity quickened in January — The Thai economy in January remained on course for growth, driven by household consumption and exports, says the government’s planning unit. Household consumption in January grew by 6.8% YoY, up from 3.5% in December, the NESDB said yesterday. Private investment grew by 22%, while car sales rose 36.5%. Customs-based exports were US$17.92bn in January, up 15.6% YoY after 13.6% growth in December, boosted by a surge in shipments of cars, electronics and electric appliances. The NESDB said global economy recovery, especially in the US, EU and Japan, has raised demand. (Bangkok Post, 06/03/13)
  • Consumer confidence reaches its highest level in 19 months – Consumer confidence last month reached its highest level in 19 months, driven mainly by economic expansion, fiscal stimulus and higher purchasing power, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF). (The Nation, 08/03/13)

Global

  • US: The U.S. purchasing managers index (PMI) climbed from 53.1 percent in January to 54.2 in February, the highest level since June 2011 when the index registered 55.8 percent, said the U.S. Institute of Supply Management (ISM). Manufacturing has been a bright spot in output and employment since the recession ended in June 2009. (Xinhua, 02/03/13)
  • Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in January even as incomes dropped. The U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday that personal income decreased 3.6 percent in January compared to an increase of 2.6 percent in the previous month, while personal consumption expenditures rose 0.2 percent, higher than an increase of 0.1 percent. (Xinhua, 02/03/13)
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment for Americans was 77.6 in Feb from 73.8 in Jan, also higher than the preliminary 76.3. (Xinhua, 02/03/13)
  • US service sector grows for 38th consecutive month in February — U.S. non-manufacturing sector expanded for the 38th straight month in February, evidence of the ongoing economic recovery, a widely recognized US private survey revealed on Tuesday. The Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI), which measures activity in the U.S. service sector, rose to 56.0 last month from 55.2% in January, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its monthly survey. (Xinhua, 06/03/13)
  •  US: The number of Americans applying for initial jobless claims last week decreased to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 347,000, according to the US Labor Department. The four-week moving average, a smoother indicator, was 348,750, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week ‘s revised average of 355,750. (Xinhua, 08/03/13)
  • Eurozone retail sales up 1.2% in January – Retail sales rose both in the Eurozone and the whole 27-country EU during January on a monthly basis, but went down from January a year ago, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The volume of retail trade rose by 1.2% in the Eurozone in January compared to the previous month and was up 0.9% in the whole EU. On an annual basis, retail sales dropped by 1.3% in January in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27. (WBP Online, 05/03/13)
  • Europe: ECB keeps key interest rate at record low 0.75% – The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday decided to hold its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75% and continue its accommodative monetary policy. (Xinhua, 07/03/13)

Negative(s)

Thailand

  • Trade deficit widening due to rising imports of oil diesel – Thailand needs to devise new measures to curb energy consumption, as rising fuel imports to satisfy domestic consumption is widening the country’s trade deficit. (The Nation, 04/03/13)

Global

  • China: Non-manufacturing sector shrinks in Feb — China’s non-manufacturing sector shrank in February, an official monthly survey showed Sunday. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of the non-manufacturing sector came in at 54.5% in Feb, down 1.7 pps from January, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said in an online statement. (Xinhua, 03/03/13)
  • Europe: Eurozone jobless rate climbs to record high in January – Eurozone jobless rate rose by 0.1 points to 11.9% in January this year, the highest level since the statistics office of the European Union (EU) started to release jobless figures in 1995, Eurostat data showed Friday. (Xinhua, 01/03/13)
  • US: Factory orders down 2% in January – New orders for US manufactured goods dropped 2% in January, following a robust gain in December, the US Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. US factory orders declined US$9.6bn to a seasonally adjusted US$472.9bn in January, following a revised 1.3% increase in December. 
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