What happened this week 09/12 – 13/12

Thailand

  • Outlook for 2014 economy varies, uncertainty over new govt, budget spending clouds growth forecast – Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul acknowledged yesterday that if a new government is not formed next year, economic expansion could be affected to a certain degree, as the government remains a key driver of the economy through spending and public investment. (The Nation, 13/12/13)
  • BoT to reevaluate 2014 targets — The BoT says that it will reevaluate next year’s GDP target at the next MPC meeting to factor in the upcoming election. (Post Today, 13/12/13)
  • Government vows to sell rice stocks, Ministry stalls BAAC credit guarantee – The Finance Ministry put the brakes on the planned credit guarantee for the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to finance the rice pledging scheme since the caretaker government is prohibited from signing spending bills. (Bangkok Post, 12/12/13)
  • ADB cuts Thai growth outlook – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday slashed its 2013 growth forecast for Thailand’s gross domestic product from the 3.8% projected in October to only 2.9%. (The Nation, 12/12/13)
  • MPC concerned — The MPC is concerned by the status of the loan market, with loan growth slowing and missed payments rising, despite best effect from banks to control credit quality. (Khao Sod, 12/12/13)
  • Food exports down — The Ministry of Industry reports that for the first ten months of 2013, Thailand exported Bt765bn worth of food, down 6.6% YoY. The yearend forecast for 2013 is Bt913bn, down 6%. (Khao Sod, 12/12/13)
  • Thai unemployment rate 0.6% — The NESDB reports that Thailand’s October unemployment figure was 237K, with unemployment rate at 0.6%. This represents growth of 14K YoY but a reduction MoM from September. (IQ Biz, 10/12/13)
  • FPO ordered to revise tax plan — The MoF ordered the FPO to revise its tax plan after 2014 forecast tax revenue fell short of target from tax cuts and lower corporate profit. (Krungthep Thurakit, 11/12/13)
  • UTCC expects growth boost from Feb election – The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) estimates that the general election scheduled for February 2 will generate spending of between Bt40-50bn by political parties. (The Nation, 11/12/13)
  • Growth tiny if Bt2trn off the table — The NESDB warns that if the Bt2tn infrastructure plan is not begun next year, GDP growth will not exceed 1% from the forecast level of 5%. Several commercial banks warn of economic impact. TMB is concerned about Thailand’s competitiveness without the bill, while CIMB urges the government to come up with appropriate stimulus. (Krungthep Thurakit, 09/12/13)
  • PM willing to talk — The prime minister says she is willing to accept any reasonable request from the protestors, but would rather open a forum to discuss the solution, while the protestors reject the request. The entire Democrat party has resigned from parliament saying that parliament has lost its mandate and the government its right to rule. (Krungthep Thurakit, 09/12/13)

Globally

  • US: U.S. retail sales up 0.7% in Nov. — U.S. retail and food services sales recorded their biggest rise in five months: retail sales in November increased 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted US$432.3bn. It followed a 0.6% gain in October and matched the growth rate in June. Economists had expected sales to advance 0.6%. (Xinhua, 12/12/13)
  • U.S. initial jobless claims surge to two-month high – The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid rode a roller coaster in the last two weeks, falling to a nearly three-month low then rebounding to a two-month high. The figure of initial claims for jobless benefits surged sharply by 68,000 to a two-month high of 368,000. Economists were expecting a mild up to 320,000 from an initial reading of 298,000 in the previous week. (Xinhua, 12/12/13)
  • U.S. manufacturing and trading companies’ inventories rose 0.7% in October, said the Commerce Department in a separate report. U.S. import prices declined 0.6% for the second consecutive month in November led by falling fuel prices, while export prices rose 0.1% in November following a 0.6% decline in October, said the Labor Department in another report. (Xinhua, 13/12/13)
  • UK: British economic growth in 2014 expected to beat pre-recession peak – The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) upgraded Britain’s GDP growth forecasts from 1.3% to 1.4% in 2013 and from 2.2% to 2.7% in 2014. (Xinhua, 12/12/13)
  • Eurozone industrial production down 1.1% in October – Eurozone industrial production shrank by 1.1% on MoM in October, compared with a 0.2% contraction in September, suggesting a fragile recovery in Europe, European Union (EU) statistics office said Thursday. (Xinhua, 12/12/13)
  • Japan: Abe’s Cabinet OKs ¥5.47trn extra budget for stimulus steps – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved Thursday a ¥5.47trn (US$53.2bn) supplementary budget for fiscal 2013 to fund economic stimulus measures designed to minimize the potential negative impact of a sales tax hike next April. (Kyodo, 12/12/13)
  • US: U.S. mortgage applications rose 1.0% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The U.S. deficit for November declined 21% from the year-ago level, two months in a row in terms of shrinking, according to the Treasury Department. (Xinhua, 12/12/13)
  • U.S. oil price rises as crude supplies fall – Energy Information Administration (EIA), released Wednesday its report covering U.S. crude supplies of the week ending Nov. 29. Supplies fell 5.59 million barrels to 385.8 million barrels last week, beating analysts’ expectation of 500,000 barrels decrease. U.S. refineries ran at 92.4% of total capacity, up 3 percentage points from the prior week. (Xinhua, 11/12/13)
  • German consumer prices increase slightly in November – German consumer prices increased 1.3% YoY in November, The inflation rate was lower only in April and October this year, when it stood at 1.2 percent, according to the German Federal Statistical Office data. (Xinhua, 11/12/13)
  • ADB sees lower growth for Southeast Asia in 2013 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) revised down its growth forecast for Southeast. “The revision reflects political tensions in Thailand in the last quarter of 2013 and their adverse impact on consumption and tourism. Devastation wrought by typhoon Haiyan is undermining Philippine growth in 2013, though this is mitigated by relief efforts under way and transfers from abroad supporting consumption, “ADB said. (Xinhua, 11/12/13)
  • US: U.S. wholesale sales for October rose 1.0% from the preceding month, while wholesale inventories increased 1.4%, the biggest gain in two years, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday. (Xinhua, 11/12/13)
  • China: Industrial production growth softens in Nov. – China’s industrial production growth softened in November, with industrial value-added output expanding 10% YoY, 0.3 percentage points lower than that in October. On a MoM basis, industrial production in November edged up slightly by 0.76% from the previous month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. (Xinhua, 10/12/13)
  • China’s inflation rises 3% in Nov. – China’s consumer price index (CPI), grew 3% YoY in November, down from the 3.2% recorded in October, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday. (Xinhua, 10/12/13)
  • China’s fixed-asset investment growth cools – China’s urban fixed-asset investment growth cooled to 19.9% YoY in the Jan.-Nov. period down 0.2 percentage points from the growth rate in the first ten months, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Tuesday. (Xinhua, 10/12/13)
  • Europe: German industrial output falls in October – German industrial output fell for a second consecutive month in October, dropping by 1.2% in October, compared with the previous month, when the output fell by 0.7%, sending a sign of weak recovery in Europe’s largest economy. (Xinhua, 09/12/13)
  • US: U.S. creates 203000 nonfarm jobs in Nov., jobless rate drops to 7.0% — The U.S. economy created a larger-than-expected 203,000 nonfarm jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.0%, a five-year low, from 7.3% in October, Labor Department data showed Friday. The average market expectation was for 180,000 new nonfarm jobs and a jobless rate of 7.2%. The actual unemployment rate was the lowest since November 2008, when the figure stood at 6.8%. (Kyodo, 07/12/13)
  • The U.S. consumer confidence index rose to 82.5 in December, the highest level since July, according to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the index. U.S. personal income fell 0.1% in October, while personal expenditure increased 0.3%, the Commerce Department reported Friday. (Xinhua, 07/12/13)
  • Yellen confirmation vote for Fed chief slot may come next week – The U.S. Senate will vote as soon as next week and no later than this month to confirm Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a Senate Democratic aide said today. Yellen, who if confirmed would be the first woman to head the central bank, will be among the first nominees considered under Senate rules adopted last month that denied a single senator the right to demand a 60-vote threshold on candidates for executive and most judicial-branch posts. (Bloomberg, 06/12/13)
  • China: China’s exports better than expected – China’s exports outperformed market expectations in November due to improved data in the United States and the European Union. Exports went up 12.7% YoY in November and imports gained 5.3% YoY, according to the General Administration of Customs on Sunday. (Xinhua, 07/12/13)
  • China’s coal output, sales stabilize in October – China’s coal output and sales for the past 10 months are stabilizing, with the price of coal rising, according to the China National Coal Association (CNCA). National coal production slipped 0.3% year-on-year for the past 10 months, marking four consecutive months of shrinking declines, while sales for October picked up 1.9%, according to the data released by CNCA. (Xinhua, 07/12/13)
  • Japan: Raising Japan’s inflation expectations “big challenge”: BOJ Kuroda – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Saturday that raising inflation expectations in Japan is a “big challenge,” but expressed confidence that the central bank’s large-scale monetary policy is producing the intended effects to overcome deflation. (Kyodo, 07/12/13)
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