What happened this week 06/01 – 10/01

Thailand

  • Public hearings on water-management scheme necessary: judge – A judge at the Supreme Administrative Court recommended yesterday that the court should order complete public hearings for all of the project modules under the Bt350bn water-management master plan, but added that it should refrain from scrapping the scheme, or ordering a public referendum to decide on the outcome. (The Nation, 10/01/14)
  • BAAC chairman disagrees with board decision to use BAAC liquidity to advance to farmers. The board is led by ex-Commerce MP. The chairman argues that the cabinet did not specifically approve the use of funds, and if BAAC uses the money to make advance payments it will lead to a liquidity problem and could trigger a bank run. (Post Today, 10/01/14)
  • BoT looks to stabilize the economy and breed new confidence into Thailand at the upcoming policy meeting. It also notes that the government should be able to finance the Bt2trn projects through normal means without the bill. (Krungtep Thurakit, 10/01/14)
  • MPC may lower growth forecast – The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) may cut this year’s 4% GDP growth forecast, as downside risk is increasing on the back of the political turmoil. (Bangkok Post, 10/01/14)
  • Confidence to remain tepid – The consumer confidence index dipped for a ninth straight month in December to 73.4% from 75% in November, the lowest since February 2012. If a shutdown lasts a month, the UTCC projects consumer spending to contract by much as Bt40bn, affecting the country’s GDP by 0.1-0.2%. (Bangkok Post, 10/01/14)
  • Luxury goods sale tank as weak baht push prices up — The ICC forecasts that this year the industry will only experience single digit growth. (Kom Chad Leuk, 10/01/14)
  • Fund outflows slowing — The BoT reports signs that foreign fund outflows are slowing and said the weaker baht is still acceptable. It said that key determinant of fund outflow is Fed decisions and local politics. (Krungtep Thurakit, 09/01/14)
  • Government to save over Bt10bn from decisions to not take first-car tax scheme — The Excise Department estimates that around 100k cars were foregone. (Thai Post, 09/01/14)
  • EC allows rice stock sales to continue – The caretaker government was given a breather after the Election Commission (EC) allowed it to continue selling rice stocks as usual, a move that could raise funds to ease the tight liquidity in the government’s rice pledging scheme. (Bangkok Post, 09/01/14)
  • PM survives charter-change probe; 308 to face charges – Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was cleared yesterday by a national anti-graft body probe into her role in charter-amendment legislation that was ruled unconstitutional. (Bangkok Post, 08/01/14)
  • Kittirat: enough money in the bank — The caretaker Finance Minister says there is a line of credit of over Bt130bn to pay farmers, however in order to do so the EC must give the okay. (Matichon, 08/01/14)
  • Export growth could be about 5% if baht falls to 34/$ – Export growth this year could be anywhere from 2-5.6%, for an average value of US$237.5bn (Bt7.86trn), the Centre for International Trade Studies (CITS) at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicts. (Bangkok Posts, 08/01/14)
  • Current account could be in deficit again this year, says BOT – The Bank of Thailand is keeping an eye on the country’s current account, which could be in deficit for the second consecutive year, given a sluggish export sector and government plans for major investments in its transport-infrastructure project and other programs. (The Nation, 08/01/14)
  • UTCC: 2014 export growth at 3.88% — The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s Center for International Trade Studies forecast 2014 export growth at 3.88%. 1Q14 still shows worrying signs, as exports are negative, with protests disrupting. (ASTV Manager, 08/01/14)
  • Cabinet okays funding for roadshow to boost Thailand — The Cabinet yesterday passed a bill funding the Thailand 2020 roadshow. The roadshow is expected to cost in the neighborhood of Bt200mn. (Post Today, 08/01/14)
  • 3G auction puts budget in surplus — The Finance Ministry reported that higher VAT collection and the payments for the 3G auction gave Thailand a budget surplus of Bt117bn in 2013. (ASTV Manager, 07/01/14)
  • Shutdown could take a bite out of tax revenue – The Finance Ministry is concerned that street protests could dampen the already fragile state of domestic consumption and cause tax revenue collection to miss targets. (Bangkok Post, 07/01/14)
  • Government to force BAAC to finance the rice scheme with a release of Bt55bn credit line, as the government has failed to clear current stocks. The BAAC will demand the government show a plan of how it will repay the bank before it will tape the credit line. Farmers plan to take to the streets in protest over the delays in payment. (Kom Chad Leuk, 07/01/14)
  • Biodiesel formula under review — The Energy Ministry plans to tinker with the biodiesel formula from the current B7. It said that it doesn’t want biodiesel to affect the price of cooking oil. (Kom Chad Leuk, 06/01/14)
  • Commerce set export target at 5% —Many firms believe that Thai economy will miss the mark. Political unrest will affect consumer confidence, while the electronic sector needs an upgrade to match new technology. (Krungtep Thrurakit, 06/01/14)

Global

  • U.S. initial jobless claims fall to a month low – In the week ending Jan. 4, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 15,000 to 330, 000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday, better than economists’ expectation of a decrease to 335,000. (Xinhua, 09/01/14)
  • U.S. reports rise in consumer credit in November – U.S. consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 4.8% in November, but the growth rate slowed down from a revised 7% in October. (Xinhua, 09/01/14)
  • ECB keeps key interest rate at record-low 0.25% – The European Central Bank left its key interest rate at a record-low 0.25% at its policy meeting Thursday, as widely expected, to continue supporting the eurozone. (Kyodo, 09/01/14)
  • Eurozone economic confidence continues to improve in December – In December, the economic sentiment indicator (ESI) increased by 1.6 points in the euro area to 100 points, getting back to its long-term average for the first time since July 2011, the Commission said in a report. (Xinhua, 09/01/14)
  • German industrial production increases in November – German industrial production increased more than expected in November 2013, adding signs that the Europe’s largest economy is regaining its strength. Industrial output increased by 1.9 percent from October, when the production dropped by 1.2 percent month-on-month. (Xinhua, 09/01/14)
  • US: Survey shows U.S. private sector adds most jobs in a year – U.S. private companies added 238,000 jobs in December, the largest monthly gain since November 2012, said the National Employment Report released jointly by ADP. Economists were expecting an increase of 200,000 private jobs for December. (Xinhua, 08/01/14)
  • Eurozone jobless rate remains at record high in November – Seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of the euro area stood at 12.1% in November, unchanged at a record high since April, European Union (EU) statistics office Eurostat said Wednesday. (Xinhua, 08/01/14)
  • German factory orders increase in November – German factory orders increased by 2.1% in November 2013, adding to signs that the Europe’s largest economy will recover at a faster pace in the new year, official data showed on Wednesday. (Xinhua, 08/01/14)
  • Philippine gov’t debt hits US$126.17bn as of October – The Philippine government’s debt reached 5.65 trillion pesos (US$126.17bn) as of end-October 2013. Figure is 5.4% higher than the 5.36 trillion pesos (US$119.69bn) registered last year. (Xinhua, 08/01/14)
  • US: Nov. U.S. trade deficit falls 12.9% on record-high exports – The U.S. deficit in global trade of goods and services in November shrank 12.9% from the previous month to US$34.25bn on record-high exports, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. (Kyodo, 08/01/14)
  • Japan’s business leaders positive about pay hikes to support economy – Japanese business leaders on Tuesday showed a positive stance about raising wages this year to support economic growth, while expressing the view that adverse effects of the sales tax hike in April is likely to be limited as the economy continues to recover. (Kyodo, 08/01/14)
  • German unemployment falls in December – German unemployment adjusted for seasonal factors fell in December 2013, with jobless rate remaining close to a record low level. The number of jobless Germans decreased by 15,000 in December, compared with the previous month, Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency (BA) said. Jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.9%, close to the lowest level since Germany’s reunification two decades ago. (Xinhua, 08/01/14)
  • Nissan sees record sales of new vehicles in China in 2013 – Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday its sales of new vehicles in China reached an all-time high in 2013, up 17.2% from the previous year, backed by robust demand for its Sylphy sedan models. (Kyodo, 08/01/14)
  • US: U.S. service sector grows at slower pace in December – The Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI), which measures activity in the U.S. service sector, declined to 53% in December from 53.9% in November, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its monthly survey. (Xinhua, 06/01/14)
  • U.S. factory orders rebound 1.8% in November – U.S. factory orders increased US$8.8bn, or 1.8%, to a seasonally adjusted US$497.9bn in November, hitting the highest level since the figure was first published in 1992. It followed a revised 0.5% decline in October. (Xinhua, 06/01/14)
  • Markit’s PMI survey indicates a minor slowdown in the American services sector In December – The final results of Markit’s monthly U.S. services Purchasing Managers Index survey were indicative of a minor slowdown in the American services sector in December, as the report’s headline index fell to 55.7 from November’s 55.9 reading. (Business Insider, 06/01/12)
  • New orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose in November to a record level, mainly fueled by increasing new orders for durable goods, the Commerce Department said. (Xinhua, 07/01/14)
  • China: China PMI lowest since Aug. 2011: survey – The HSBC/Markit China services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) posted at 50.9 in December, down notably from 52.5 in November. Business activity in China’s services sector fell significantly in December to its lowest level since August of 2011. (Xinhua, 06/01/14)
  • U.S. economy to fare better in coming quarters: Bernanke – U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday predicted that the U.S. economy will fare better in coming quarters supported by easing fiscal policy headwind, a recovering housing market and ongoing monetary policy stimulus. (Xinhua, 04/01/14)
  • US: ISM New York Index down to 63.8 in December – The US ISM New York Index fell to 63.8 in December, from 69.5 recorded in November, according to data released by NAPM-New York. (FXstreet, 03/01/14)
  • China: China’s retail sales likely to grow 13.7% YoY in Dec., Xinhua forecast – China’s retail sales of consumer goods are projected to increase 13.7% in December from a year ago, flat from November’s growth rate, according to analysts’ median forecast polled by Xinhua on Friday. The prediction on growth rate ranges from a low of 13.4% to a high of 13.9% due to stronger consumer spending near year-end. (Xinhua, 04/01/14)
  • Europe: Italy’s inflation down to lowest since 2009: statistics institute – Italy registered an average inflation rate of 1.2% in 2013, down from 3% in 2012, the lowest rate since 2009

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