What happened this week 12/08 – 16/08

Thailand

  • MoC wants to talk to exporters — The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is calling for a meeting with major exporters to discuss strategies to reach export target in Sept of 7-7.5%. It also plans to encourage setup of new businesses to increase by 14% in Sept. (Thai Post, 15/08/13)
  • HSBC suggests structural reforms – Thailand may face a setback in sustaining economic growth if it does not implement structural reforms and address the rising household debt burden, says Frederic Neumann, the managing director of HSBC. (Bangkok Post, 15/08/13)
  • Government hurries to disburse budget — State agencies were instructed to speed up disbursement of the remaining Bt170.47bn in the budget for this fiscal year to support economic growth and cope with sluggish global conditions. The agencies have until the end of next month to accelerate their spending plans, as fiscal 2013 ends September 30. (Bangkok Post, 14/08/13)
  • Downbeat forecasts continue – Moody’s Analytics expects Thai gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.1% for the second quarter, while local economists are offering a dismal 2.5% forecast due to lackluster domestic demand, declining investment and weak exports. “Monthly household consumption, export and production data suggest the economy expanded by 4.1% YoY in the second quarter, down from 5.3% recorded a quarter before.” Moody’s Analytics forecasts full-year economic growth of 4.3%, a touch below potential growth of 4.5%. (Bangkok Post, 10/08/13)
  • BoT: Survey reveals businesses expect to slow down — The BoT has said that a business survey shows that inventory prices will increase and that businesses expect to slow down as indicated by lower consumer confidence and a continued contraction in consumption. Investments in the other hand have showed signs of recovery. (Krungthep Turakij, 13/08/13)
  • Industries sentiment sinks – The Thai industries sentiment index (TISI) dropped to 91.9 in July from 93.1 in June, the lowest level in the past seven months, amid concerns over weaker domestic purchasing power, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). (The Nation, 16/08/13)

Global

  • US: U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods was unchanged in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.8% in June and 0.5% in May, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday. Excluding food and energy, the so-called “core” index for finished goods edged up 0.1% in July, marking the ninth consecutive increase, the department added. (Xinhua, 15/08/13)
  • U.S. business inventories remained almost flat in June on a monthly basis, following a revised 0.1% decrease in the prior month, the Commerce Department said in a separate report. (Xinhua, 14/08/13)
  • US: U.S. wholesale inventories fall for second straight month – The Commerce Department said on Friday wholesale inventories fell 0.2 percent after declining 0.6 percent in May. This was weaker than the government had assumed in its advance estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product published last week, which put growth at a 1.7 percent annual pace. (Reuters, 09/08/13)
  • US: U.S. retail and food services sales edged up 0.2% in July, lower than the upward-revised 0.6% increase in June, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The weak figure missed analysts’ forecast of a 0.3% rise. (Xinhua, 14/08/13)
  • US: The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits in the week ending Aug. 10 decreased 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted number of 320,000, the lowest level in nearly six years, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers increased 0.2% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, and the so-called “core” CPI for all items excluding food and energy also rose 0.2% in the past month, the third straight increase, the Labor Department said in a separate report.
  • Manufacturing activity in the New York region increased at a slightly slower pace in August compared with that in July, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday in a survey. Meanwhile, industrial production remained unchanged in July after having gained 0.2% in June, according to the Federal Reserve.
  • Besides, U.S. builder confidence for August in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose to 59, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. This fourth consecutive monthly gain brought the index to its highest level in nearly eight years. (Xinhua, 16/08/13)
  • Europe: Europe emerges from recession, but crisis not over – A high European Union (EU) official on Wednesday sounded a cautious note after latest official data showed that the eurozone economy had emerged from recession. The remarks by EU Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Olli Rehn came just as Eurostat said that the eurozone economy grew by 0.3% in the second quarter this year. Rehn hailed the latest European economic data as encouraging, but warned that the debt and economic crisis in Europe is not over. (Xinhua, 14/08/13)
  • Europe: More than 5,000 EU bank branches closed in 2012 – Banks cut 5,500 branches across the European Union last year, 2.5% of the total, leaving the region with 20,000 fewer outlets than it had when the financial industry was plunged into crisis in 2008. Last year’s cuts came after 7,200 branches were axed in 2011, according to data from the European Central Bank. (Irish Times, 12/08/13)
  • Japan: Japan’s industrial output in June declines 3.1 pct – Japan’s industrial output in June declined a seasonally adjusted 3.1 percent compared with May, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Monday, revising the data from the initial reported 3.3 percent decline. It is the first drop in five months. The factories and mines output came to 94.7 against the base of 100 for 2010, local media reported. (Xinhua, 12/08/13)
  • Japanese economy grows by 2.6 pct in Q2 – The Japanese economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter, falling short of market expectations, official figures released on Monday showed. Compared with the previous three months, the world’s third largest economy expanded by 0.6 percent in the period from April to June, marking the third consecutive quarter of growth, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report. (Xinhua, 12/08/13)
  • Singapore: Singapore raises growth forecast – Singapore’s economy grew by 3.8% YoY in the second quarter, the strongest growth in three years, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Monday. It also represents an improvement from the growth of 0.2% in the first quarter. The stronger growth also prompted the ministry to upgrade the official growth forecast for the economy this year from 1-3%, to 2.5-3.5%, a forecast that was revealed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier in his national day message, (Xinhua, 12/08/13)
  • China: China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday that the country’s industrial output growth picked up in July, rising 9.7% YoY, while the consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, stayed flat at 2.7%. (Xinhua, 09/08/13)
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