What happened this past week 08.04.13 to 12.04.13

Thailand

  • Purple Line readies for 2016 debut pending cabinet OK — The long delayed Purple Line mass transit project ids expected to be operational by 2016 as the operating and maintenance contract is expected to be approved by the cabinet after Songkran, says BMCL. The construction of the 16-km route is halfway done, said BMCL president Chaiwat Utaiwan. Bangkok Post, 11/04/13)
  • Dawei SPV to get green light in May — The shareholding structure of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage Myanmar’s massive deep-sea port and special economic zone project in Dawei is expected to be wrapped up in May. The two governments are deciding on a structure in which they equally own the SPV, said PM’s Office Minister Niwatthamrong, who chaired the Joint Coordinating Committee meeting between Thailand and Myanmar. (Bangkok Post, 12/04/13)
  • Debt repaid in advance to tap strong baht — The Public Debt Management Office has targeted to gradually reduce the risk of foreign exchange fluctuations through early repayment of yen-denominated loans and currency swap in light of the strong baht, said director-general Chularat Sutheethorn. Thailand’s public debt now stands at Bt5.04trn, 44.06% of GDP. Of the total, 7% or Bt347bn is foreign debt and 64% of that is yen-denominated. (Bangkok Post, 12/04/13)

Global

  • US: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, easing fears of a marked deterioration in labor market conditions after a surprise stumble in job growth in March. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, unwinding a jump in the prior week that appeared related to difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal variations. It was the largest weekly drop since mid-November. Economists, who had expected first-time applications for jobless aid to fall only to 365,000, said the decline suggested the sharp slowdown in employment growth in March was an aberration. (Reuters, 11/04/13)
  • US: U.S. wholesale inventories in February dropped 0.3% from the prior month, while wholesale sales increased 1.7%, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Meanwhile, the index of small business optimism of the National Federation of Independent Business declined in March. (Xinhua, 10/04/13)
  • US: The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index increased 0.8 percent in February, to a seasonally adjusted level of 96.3, said a report Monday. (Xinhua, 09/04/13)
  •  China: China’s consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, grew 2.1% YoY in March, down from a 10-month high of 3.2% in February, official data showed Tuesday. (Xinhua, 10/04/13)
  • Asia: ADB expects robust ASEAN growth — Southeast Asian economies will maintain resilient growth this year and next thanks to robust domestic demand and deeper regional integration, but capital inflows will continue to pressure currencies, says the Asian Development Bank. In the Asian Development Outlook 2013 report released yesterday, the ADB forecasts ASEAN’s economy will grow 5.4% this year, on par with last year’s growth of 5.5%, with estimates of 4.7% for 204 with an expected increase of intra-ASEAN trade. (Bangkok Post, 10/04/13)
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