What happened this week 24/06 – 28/06

Thailand

  • Household debt on upward tilt — Household debt has hit a fresh high, particularly among low income earnings, who remain widely exposed to loan sharks, says the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The latest UTCC survey of 1,200 respondents found mot of them (64.l5%) had average household debt of Bt188,774.54, up by 12% from a year earlier and compared with Bt147,542 back in 2009. The annual growth rate has risen overall in recent years – only 2.8% in 2009 and 2.6% in 2010, jumping to 5.3% in 2011 and 4.7% last year before surging 12% in this year’s survey. (Bangkok Post, 26/06/13)
  • BoT: Be not afraid of China dip — A credit squeeze in China is unlikely to affect Thailand’s financial markets, thanks to plentiful liquidity, despite recent capital outflows, says Prasan Trairatvorakul, governor of the BoT. Mr. Prasarn said the central bank has implemented a defensive strategy in absorbing excessive liquidity, while local financial institutions continue parking their money at the central bank, , implying they still have surplus liquidity to finance their operations. (Bangkok Post, 26/06/13)
  • Think tank cuts growth forecast — Thailand’s economic growth will likely be lower than 5% this year, probably towards the lower end of the revised forecast of 4.2% to 5.2% says the NESDB. Deptu7hy secretary-general Prametee Vimolsiri said the slowing global economy and baht volatility are weighing on exports. The government’s think thank has cut its GDP growth forecast for 2013 from a range of 4.5% to 4.4% after 1Q13 GDP of 5.3% YoY was lower than expected. (Bangkok Post, 28/06/13)
  • May exports fall on strong baht, global sluggishness — Exports dropped 5.3% YoY in May on the back of the baht’s 7% appreciation during the month and the listless global economy. Last month’s shipments totaled US$19.8bn in dollar terms but the value of Bt566bn represented an 11.7% decline, Commerce Ministry figures released yesterday show. (Bangkok Post, 27/06/13)

Global

  • US: Texas factory activity increased sharply in June, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose six points to 17.1, posting its highest reading in more than two years. The May Chicago Fed National Activity Index, a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure, stood at minus 0.30 in May, up from minus 0. 52 in April. (Xinhua, 25/06/13)
  • US: A batch of data released on Tuesday revealed that the U.S. housing market is continuing to recover. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that average home prices rose 2.6% and 2.5% for the 10- and 20- City Composites from March to April, their record monthly gains, according to a report released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices. Separately, U.S. house price appreciation continued in April, rising 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). U.S. new home sales also rallied. Sales of new single-family houses in May added 2.1% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000, the highest level since July 2008, according to estimates released jointly Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • U.S. consumer confidence in June surged to the highest level in more than five years, said a survey released Tuesday by the research institute Conference Board. Consumer spending accounts for approximately 70% of the world’s largest economy.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in May climbed 3.6%, the U.S. Commerce Department said, beating market consensus. (Xinhua, 26/06/13)
  • US: Weekly jobless claims data were favorable. In the week ending June 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 346,000, a decrease of 9, 000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 355,000, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday. Separately, U.S. personal income increased 0.5% in May following a 0.1% rise in April, while personal consumption expenditures rose 0.3% in May, reversing a 0.3% decline in April, the Commerce Department added. (Xinhua, 28/06/13)
  • US: US real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013, lower than the second estimate of 2.4%, missing analysts’ expectations, according to the third estimate released Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department. “A substantial revision to GDP in the third and final first quarter release was unexpected. The mix of growth was worse — there was almost no change in inventories — and consumption was the most heavily revised of the components,” FTN Financial Chief Economist Christopher Low said on Wednesday.
  • U.S. mortgage applications for the week ending June 21 decreased 3.0% from a week earlier to the lowest level since November 2011, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey showed Wednesday. (Xinhua, 27/06/13)
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