What happened this week 28/10 – 01/11

Thailand

  • Shrimp, industrial goods lead 7% export decline – Thailand’s exports fell by 7.09% YoY in September, bringing the nine-month expansion rate to a marginal 0.05%. With it, the Commerce Ministry admitted yesterday the country will likely end the year with shipments far from its growth target range of 3-4%. (Bangkok Post, 26/10/13)
  • BoT ditches growth forecast – The Bank of Thailand slashed its 2013 Thai economic growth projection to 3.7% from 4.2% predicted in July, dropping export growth to 1% from 4%, but how long the trough will last is unknown, says a senior official. (Bangkok Post, 26/10/13)
  • Thai National Shippers’ Council targets 2014 exports growth at 5-7% as 1H14 forward orders come in. It believes this is due to the beginning of consumption recovery for major economic powers such as the EU, US, China, and Japan. It also cautions that major international economic issues may cause the number to under shoot the target level. (Kao Sod, 28/10/13)
  • Luxury product sales down — The Association of Thai Lifestyle Products Federation stated that luxury and lifestyle goods consumption is down by 20-30% due to the economic slowdown, lower consumer spending power, and increase in the prices of necessities. (Thai Post, 28/10/13)
  • Third-quarter manufacturing index falls 3.6% – The Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) has announced that the domestic MPI for the third quarter contracted by 3.6% compared with the same period last year amid 64% capacity utilization. (The Nation, 29/10/13)
  • BoT sees green shoots of recovery in Q4 – Economic growth in the fourth quarter is expected to improve after the third quarter showed signs of recovery on the back of steady domestic consumption and private investment, says the Bank of Thailand. (Bangkok Post, 01/11/13)
  • Govt to issue up to $1.5bn bonds a year for 10 years to fund transport projects – The government will issue US$1-1.5bn (Bt31-46.6bn) worth of bonds per annum for the next 10 years to finance its transport-infrastructure projects, in a move that will offer a good opportunity to establish a base for Thai bonds overseas, the finance minister said. (The Nation, 01/11/13)
  • Thais’ household debt jolts S&P – As the level of household debt increased to 77% of gross domestic product in 2012 from 55% in 2008, Thais are now more vulnerable to rising interest rates, unemployment, and economic slowdowns, said a rating agency. (The Nation, 31/10/13)
  • FPO: Little hope for exports this year – The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) now expects this year’s economic growth will be at the low end of its forecast on the back of delays in an export revival and still-sluggish domestic consumption. Its current gross domestic product forecast is within a range of 3.5% to 4% with a median expectation of 3.7%, in line with the Bank of Thailand’s latest projection. The FPO forecasts exports will grow by a mere 1.8% for the full year. (Bangkok Post, 31/10/13)
  • Exports to rebound in Q4 but miss target – Thailand is poised to end the year with export growth of only 1.3%, the lowest since 2010, as it is highly unlikely that shipments will reach US$22bn a month on average for the remaining three monthssays the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC). (Bangkok Post, 30/10/13)
  • Finance Ministry: VAT will stay at 7% — Deputy Finance Minister Benja Louichareon ruled out a value-added tax (VAT) hike any time soon on concerns that such a move could add to the cost of living. (Bangkok Post, 30/10/13)

Globally

  • US: New orders for the U.S. manufactured durable goods in September increased 3.7% to US$233.4bn, the Commerce Department said Friday. “While on the surface this appears to be a strong reading, it is not. Outside aircraft orders, September proved to be a lackluster month for business investment,” FTN Financial economist Jay Morelock said in a note Friday. The Commerce Department said in a separate report that wholesale inventories advanced 0.5% in August, the biggest gain since January. (Xinhua, 26/10/13)
  • U.S. consumer confidence falls to 10-month low in October – U.S. consumer confidence fell to a 10-month low in October, as Americans are concerned fiscal uncertainty would hurt economic growth, a survey showed Friday. The final reading of the consumer sentiment index in October edged down to 73.2, the lowest level this year, from 77.5 in September, the monthly Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumers showed. (Xinhua, 25/10/13)
  • US: U.S. industrial production increased 0.6% in September following a gain of 0.4% in August, posting the largest gain in seven months, the Federal Reserve said Monday. “Industrial production rose 0.6% in September and capacity utilization rose from 77.9% percent to 78.3%, but the strength was almost entirely in a weather-related jump in utilities output,” FTN Financial Chief Economist Christopher Low said in a note on Monday. (Xinhua, 29/10/13)
  • U.S. U.S. pending home sales fall in Sept. on less affordability – U.S. pending home sales slipped in September for the fourth consecutive month, held back by higher interest rates and home prices, a leading U.S. industry group reported on Monday. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its index of pending home sales, which measures the number of contracts that have been signed but not yet closed for purchasing previously owned homes, declined 5.6% to 101.6 in September, and was 1.2% below the September 2012 level. It marked the first time in 29 months that pending home sales were not above year-ago levels. (Xinhua, 29/10/13)
  • US: The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index for October unexpectedly rose to 65.9 in October from 55.7 in the prior month, the highest since March 2011, said the Institute for Supply Management. (Xinhua, 01/11/13)
  • U.S. initial jobless claims dip for three straight weeks – The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid fell for a third consecutive week, but remained well above the pre-shutdown level, the Labor Department reported Thursday. In the week ending Oct. 26, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits edged down by 10,000 to 340,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 350,000. (Xinhua, 31/10/13)
  • US: The U.S. private sector added 130,000 jobs in October, according to the private payroll processor ADP, falling short of analysts’ forecast of 154,000 polled by Reuters. U.S. mortgage applications increased 6.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis last week from one week earlier on lower interest rates, said the Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday. (Xinhua, 31/10/13)
  • US: U.S. retail sales for September decreased 0.1% from the previous month, missing market consensus, the Commerce Department said. Meanwhile, U.S. consumer confidence dropped more than expected in October, with Americans spooked by the latest fiscal stalemate in Washington, the Conference Board said Tuesday. U.S. Producer Price Index fell 0.1% in September, the first drop since April, said the Labor Department Tuesday. (Xinhua, 30/10/13)
  • U.S. business inventories up 0.3% in August- U.S. manufacturing and trading companies’ inventories edged up 0.3% in August, following a revised 0.4% gain in the prior month, the Department of Commerce said on Tuesday. (Xinhua, 29/10/13)
  • U.S. home prices rise vigorously in August- U.S. home prices posted their strongest gain in August for more than seven years, according to S&P/ Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday. The 10-City and 20-City Composites posted a 12.8% growth rate year on year, the highest increases since February 2006. (Xinhua, 29/10/13)
  • U.S. wholesale price down 0.1% in September – U.S. wholesale prices fell in September the first time in five months as food prices retreated, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures price changes at factory gates, dipped 0.1% last month on seasonally adjusted basis. It was the first drop since April and followed a revised 0.3% gain in August. (Xinhua, 29/10/13)
  • U.S. inflation remains mild with consumer prices up 0.2 percent in Sept — U.S. consumer prices increased slightly in September, indicating inflation remained subdued, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The department said the Consumer Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% from the previous month. Economists monitor core prices to get a sense of broader inflation trends, a key barometer for central bank monetary policy decisions. (Xinhua, 30/10/13)
  • Europe: EU to cut red tape on business – European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has promised to cut red tape on business and further support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), following a two-day summit in Brussels that ended on Friday afternoon. (Xinhua, 25/10/13)
  • Europe: Portugal to be out of technical recession soon: deputy PM – Portuguese Deputy PM Paulo Portas on Monday said statistics on the bailed-out country’s economy in the third quarter show that it could see an exit from a technical recession in a few weeks time. (Xinhua, 29/10/13)
  • Europe: Eurozone’s CPI down to 4-year low in September- The consumer price index (CPI) in the eurozone is expected to decline to 0.7% in October from 1.1% in September, European Union (EU) statistics office Eurostat said Thursday. (Xinhua, 31/10/13)
  • Europe: Euro-Area October economic confidence rise beats forecast. Economic confidence in the euro-area rose more than economists forecast in October, adding to signs the single-currency bloc’s recovery is gaining momentum. An index of executive and consumer sentiment increased for a sixth month to 97.8 from 96.9 in September. That exceeded the median estimate of 97.2 in a Bloomberg News survey of 31 economists. (Bloomberg, 30/10/13)
  • China: China macro-economy — The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the China’s top economic planner, said in the report that recent economic data points to significant recovery in the industrial sector,supporting the broader economy on an improvement track. (Xinhua, 30/10/13)
  • China: China’s industrial profit up 13.5% in Jan.-Sept. – Major Chinese industrial firms saw their combined profits rise 13.5% YoY to 4.05 trillion yuan (US$660bn) in the first three quarters of 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday. (Xinhua, 27/10/13)
  • Japan: Japanese economy shows signs of moderate recovery — The word “recovery” has disappeared from the Japanese Financial Ministry’s (MOF) quarterly report on the economic situation for nearly six years, but arose again on Wednesday’s report. “Japan’s regional economy is on the way to recovery at a moderate pace, said the third-quarter report of 2013 on the world’s third largest economy. (Xinhua, 30/10/13)
  • Japan: The eight biggest auto manufacturers report that domestic auto production increased 12.8% YoY in September to reach 827,139 units, the first increase in 13 months. (IQ Biz, 28/10/13)
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