What happened this week 11/11 – 15/11


  • Domestic rice prices in free fall — The government’s delay in paying farmers for rice earmarked for the pledging scheme has resulted in declining domestic paddy prices, say traders. The average local paddy price is now only Bt6,500-6,000 a tonne, far lower than the Bt15,000 offered by the government. (Bangkok Post, 11/11/13)
  • Senators shoot down blanket amnesty bill – Senators late last night rejected the blanket amnesty bill in a bid to defuse political and social tensions. After 12 hours of debate, the senators shot down the controversial bill by 140 votes to 0. However, the move is not in line with the demand of Democrat Party protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban who urged the Senate to vote that the bill be classified as a financial bill and return it to the prime minister so that she kill the bill by refusing to endorse it. Without doing so, the government can revive the bill after a 180-day period. (Bangkok Post, 12/11/13)
  • ICJ delivers win-win ruling – The International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) judgment on the Preah Vihear temple land dispute was positive to Thailand and the Thai people should be cheerful about it, the Thai legal team defending the case said yesterday. (Bangkok Post, 12/11/13)
  • Kittiratt upbeat about Q4 economic prospects – The economy in the final quarter still looks promising thanks to planned public spending and a tourism boost, but full year GDP growth might not be impressive, says Kittiratt Na-Ranong, deputy prime minister and finance minister. (Bangkok Post, 12/11/13)
  • Thai exports expected to grow 5.9% in 2014 after slight contraction this year – Thailand’s exports are expected to recover to 5.9% growth next year, with revenue of US$245.24bn, after barely budging by 1% this year. (The Nation, 12/11/13)
  • FPO disputes IMF debt prediction, vows discipline – The Finance Ministry insists public debt will not exceed its self-imposed limit of 50% and the international standard of 60% of GDP, says deputy DG of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Ekniti Nitithanprapas. (Bangkok Post, 14/11/13)
  • FPO: 2013 GDP below 3.7% — FPO expects 2013 GDP to be lower than 3.7% depending on December numbers. It says that politics in has affected the economy and if the political protests continue, it will pull down consumer confidence further. The governor of the Bank of Thailand insists that the country needs the support of a loose monetary policy. (Kom Chad Luek, 14/11/13)
  • DIP plans new indicator — The Department of industrial Promotion (DIP) plans a new indicator focusing on manufacturing industries. The indicator will encompass manufacturing, investing, and producer confidence, and will be unveiled in early 2014. (ASTV Manager, 14/11/13)
  • AEC Advance Project to help enterprises penetrate regional markets – The Commerce Ministry is joining forces with the private sector in establishing the “AEC Advance Project” next year, which is aimed at helping Thai enterprises penetrate the ASEAN market. (The Nation, 14/11/13)
  • Protests: No worries! — Deputy PM and Finance Minister Kittiratt NaRanong (Deputy PM) insists to foreign investors that the government have a good grip over Thailand political protests. He does not believe that the protests will escalate to the level that it affects the economy; exports will not be greatly affected, but domestic demand is his main concern. (Matichon, 14/11/13)
  • New subsidy scheme? — The MoC has launched a new wave rice subsidies for 450k tons. It admits that there is a great risk of further loss due to low rice prices. The BAAC says that it is under immense liquidity pressure from the scheme. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Ministery Kittiratt NaRanong has hit back at the IMF, saying that the IMF doesn’t not fully understand the necessity or the full complexity of the scheme. (Krungtep Thurikit, 14/11/13)
  • Bhutan premier talks trade, tourism – Bhutan and Thailand have agreed to boost bilateral cooperation on trade and economic ties, according to government spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi. During talks at Government House yesterday Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra asked Mr. Tobgay to facilitate Thai investment in infrastructure and tourism in Bhutan. (Bangkok Post, 15/11/13)
  • HSBC upbeat despite lower forecast- UK-based bank HSBC continues to see upbeat investment sentiment in Thailand, with foreign investors pouring money into manufacturing and major Thai corporations pouring money into offshore investments. (The Nation, 15/11/13)
  • Loy Krathong spending up — The UTCC says that more than Bt10bn has been spent on Loy Krathong, a 5.6% increase YoY, with spending higher in the provinces than in Bangkok, as political issues have not yet impacted overall spending outside Bangkok. (Khom Chad Luek, 15/11/13) 


  • US: The U.S. nonfarm payroll grew by 204,000 in October despite the partial government shutdown, and the unemployment rate edged up to 7.3%, the Labor Department said Friday. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported Friday that U.S. personal income rose 0.5% in September, beating market consensus of 0.3%. (Xinhua, 09/11/13)
  • U.S. consumer spending up 0.2% in September – U.S. families continued to boost their spending in September as their take-home income posted a solid gain, the U.S. Commerce Department Friday said in a report. U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.2% in September, lower than the 0.3% growth pace in August, according to the report. (Xinhua, 09/11/13)
  • US: U.S. small business optimism took a tumble in October, with the small-business optimism index dropping to 91.6 from 93.9 in the prior month, reported the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday. (Xinhua, 13/11/13)
  • Rise in Chicago Fed National Activity Index fuels Fed tapering speculation – The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, a monthly index designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure, rose to 0.14 in September from a revised 0.13 a month before. (Xinhua, 12/11/13)
  • US: U.S. mortgage applications in the week ending Nov. 8 decreased 1.8% from a week earlier, reported the Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday. (Xinhua, 14/11/13)
  • US: U.S. initial jobless claims fall for five straight weeks- The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits decreased 2,000 to 339,000 in the week ending Nov. 9, the Labor Department said Thursday. But the latest figure fell short of analysts’ expectations. The U.S. unemployment rate edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 7.3% in October and the economy added 204,000 jobs in the month despite the partial government shutdown, according to the Labor Department. (Xinhua, 14/11/13)
  • Meanwhile, U.S. trade deficit widened in September as imports increased while exports declined, the Commerce Department said. Data showed the total trade deficit rose 8.0% to US$41.8bn in September. (Xinhua, 15/11/13)
  • U.S. economic confidence inches up after gov’t shutdown: Gallup — Americans’ confidence in the economy is inching back upward nearly four weeks after the partial government shutdown and debt ceiling standoff, a Gallup poll released Tuesday found. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index rose two points to -27 last week, and has significantly improved from the low of -39 during the mid-October shutdown. Still, the index is well below the -15 measured in mid-September before confidence deteriorated. (Xinhua, 14/11/13)
  • ECB can cut rates further, offer liquidity: Benoit Coeure – The European Central Bank can trim interest rates further and provide the banking system with liquidity, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Saturday after last week’s rate cut to a record low. “We can still cut interest rates if needed, and as we said clearly last Thursday we can provide liquidity to the euro zone financial system if needed to ensure they don’t have problems refinancing,” he said on France Inter radio. (The Economic Times, 09/11/13)
  • Europe: Spain sees negative inflation in October for first time since 2009 — Consumer prices in Spain dropped by 0.1% in October compared to the same month a year earlier, according to figures published Wednesday by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). This is the first fall in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Spain since 2009. According to the INE, the slowing of inflation in Spain was led by lower prices in communications, transport, education, food and alcoholic drinks. (Xinhua, 13/11/13)
  • Eurozone output drops more than expected, recovery ‘stuck in first’ – Eurozone factory output fell more than expected MoM in September as production dropped in every sector but energy, while it rose from the same month last year, in a sign the region’s recovery remains fragile at best. Industrial output in the 17-country bloc fell 0.5% on the month, Eurostat data showed on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 0.3% fall. (Reuters, 13/11/13)
  • Europe: Eurozone economy edges up 0.1% in Q3 – Gross domestic product (GDP) of the eurozone edged up 0.1% in the third quarter this year on a quarterly basis, Eurostat data showed Thursday. For the 28-nation European Union (EU), GDP rose by 0.2% in the third quarter compared to the previous three months. Due to the euro debt crisis, eurozone GDP either contracted or stagnated for six consecutive quarters until the second quarter this year when the economy grew 0.3%. (Xinhua, 14/11/13)
  • Britain: Bank of England in no rush to raise rates despite economic recovery: economists – The BoE’s new governor Mark Carney unveiled the latest BoE Quarterly Inflation Report (IR) with an official endorsement that a recovery is underway, following three straight quarters of growth after two years of stagnation, and he upped August’s IR forecast from 2.3% 2014 growth to 2.8%. (Xinhua, 13/11/13)
  • China: China’s industrial output growth picks up in Oct. – China’s industrial production grew faster in October, with industrial value-added output expanding 10.3% YoY, 0.1 percentage points higher than that of September, according to data released Saturday by the National Bureau of Statistics. (Xinhua, 11/11/13)
  • China’s retail sales up 13% in first 10 months – China’s retail sales grew 13% YoY to 19.03 trillion yuan (US$3.1trn) in the first ten months of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday. (Xinhua, 11/11/13)
  • China’s inflation grows 3.2% in October – China’s consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 3.2% YoY in October, up from 3.1% in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday. (Xinhua, 09/11/13)
  • China: China’s auto industry picks up in October- Sales climbed 20.3% in October YoY to 1.93mn units, up slightly from a growth of 19.7% in September, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturing (CAAM) said in a statement. (Xinhua, 11/11/13)
  • China’s Qingdao eyeing free trade zone to boost ties with Japan — The major Chinese port city of Qingdao has begun preparing to set up a free trade zone to boost economic ties with Japan and South Korea. The establishment of the zone with fewer economic restrictions in the city is targeted for before China, Japan and South Korea forge a trilateral free trade agreement, local officials said. (Kyodo, 14/11/13)
  • Japan: BOJ policymaker wary of downward risks to Japanese economy – A Bank of Japan Policy Board member said Wednesday he is wary of the downward risks to the Japanese economy due to uncertainty surrounding emerging economies, while the U.S. fiscal problem requires monitoring. “I am slightly more aware of downward risks as a whole,” Ryuzo Miyao said in a speech in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in central Japan. (Kyodo, 13/11/13)
  • Japan: Japan’s July-Sept. GDP slows, raising concern over “Abenomics” effects – Japan’s economy slowed to an annualized real growth of 1.9% in the July-September period, following a 3.8% expansion the previous quarter, the government said Thursday, raising concern that the effectiveness of the government’s “Abenomics” policy mix is waning. (Kyodo, 14/11/13)

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