What happened this week 10/02 – 14/02

Thailand

  • No way seems feasible for caretaker government to pay rice farmers their dues – No matter what the government does to solve the problem of its overdue payments to farmers, it seems the rice-pledging project may face a dead-end due to its high cost and low likelihood of being able to sell enough rice quickly to cover its obligations. (Bangkok Post, 10/02/14)
  • Social Security fund posted a return of 5% over the past year due to stock gains, however the fund is unlikely to cover all the liability due in 25-30 years time as the population continues to age. (Krugtep Thurakit, 10/02/14)
  • BoT survey: Pessimism prevails — The BoT released a survey result indicating that business owners are pessimistic about Thailand’s economy in the short run, with confidence dropping across the board. However businesses are expecting some improvement over the medium term. (Post Today, 10/02/14)
  • Factory permits down to 30% of usual during the protest period said Dept of Industrial Works. The BoI is concerned that if the political situation is not sorted out, manufacturers might flee the country in favor of neighboring countries. (Thai Post, 11/02/14)
  • TDRI see only 0-1% GDP growth this year as a result of the protests, however the center does not expect a recession. (Post Today, 11/02/14)
  • Exports, private stakes to drive Thai GDP growth: WB – The World Bank has an optimistic outlook for Thailand’s economy as the global recovery gains strength, with the institution predicting that the country’s real gross domestic product will expand by 4% this year. (Nation, 12/02/14)
  • Anti-corruption laws need revamping: TDRI — TDRI says that whoever governs Thailand, the anti-corruption laws need to be restructured. It also suggests government could also change competition laws as public companies still need government subsidies. (Krungtep Thrurakit, 12/02/14)
  • Arrow points to low-key Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day spending will see its lowest level in eight years, reflecting consumer caution over the prolonged political unrest and its effect on the Thai economy, according to University of Chamber of Commerce. (Bangkok Post, 12/02/14)
  • Central bank says 4% economic growth possible – The Bank of Thailand says the economy could expand by 4% this year, if budget disbursement is undertaken efficiently and consumer confidence and private investment recover no later than the second quarter. (Nation, 13/02/14)
  • BoT: Policy interest rate will remain low for now, Present level deemed good for slow recovery – The
  • central bank’s policy interest rate is expected to remain at a low level in the short term to accommodate economic growth during an expected slow recovery. (Bangkok Post, 13/02/14)
  • Businesses focused on farmers in trouble — Businesses that supply rice farmers are in trouble as farmers are facing severe cash constraints. Motorbike sales are at an all-time low, while agriculture machines sales are at a 30-year low. (Krungtep Thurakit, 13/02/14)
  • Cane farmers hurting from low prices —The current power vacuum will compound the issue as there are no authorities to help. (ASTV Manager, 13/02/14)

Global

  • US: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 113,000 in January, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday, which fell well short of economists’ estimate of a rise of 185,000. The unemployment rate in the month dropped slightly to 6.6% from 6.7% in the preceding month, which matched the market expectations. (Xinhua, 08/02/14)
  • U.S. consumer credit rises most in 10 months in December – Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 7.3% in December, sharply higher than the revised 4.8% in the previous month, reflecting strong buying sentiment during Christmas. (Xinhua, 08/02/14)
  • U.S. Conference Board: Employment Trends Index Increases in January – The Conference Board said its January employment trends index increased to 116.61 from a revised 115.62 in December, first reported as 115.76. (NASDAQ, 10/02/14)
  • German industrial output shrinks in December – Industrial output in Germany fell in December 2013, due to decline in energy and manufacturing production. Seasonally adjusted, total output of industrial sector declined by 0.6% from November, following a growth of 2.4% in the previous month. (Xinhua, 08/02/14)
  • France: Central bank estimates 0.2% growth for France in Q1 – France, a leading European power, will grow by 0.2% in the first months of this year on boosted industrial and services activities, the country’s central bank said Monday. (Xinhua, 10/02/14)
  • French Q4 industrial output edges up – During the last three months of 2013, France industrial output recorded a 0.3% rise, in a good sign to beef up a weak recovery, official data showed Monday. However, on monthly basis, output of industrial business fell by 0.3% in December 2013 compared to a 1.2% increase a month earlier while manufacturing production was stable after it had slightly risen by 0.2% in November. (Xinhua, 10/02/14)
  • Italy: Italy’s industrial production contracts, non-performing loans surge – Italy’s industrial production contracted 3% last year compared to 2012, the national statistics agency Istat said on Monday. Industrial production dropped 0.7% in December on yearly basis, after rising 1.5% in November over the same month in 2012. (Xinhua, 10/02/14)
  • German government raises 2014 growth forecast – The German economic ministry predicted that Europe’s largest economy would expand by 1.8% in the new year, 0.1 percentage points higher than its previous expectation. (Xinhua, 12/02/14)
  • Eurozone’s industrial output falls by 0.7% in Dec. – Seasonally adjusted industrial production in the eurozone and the European Union both fell by 0.7% in December 2013 compared to November, the European Union (EU)’s statistics office Eurostat said on Wednesday. (Xinhua, 12/02/14)
  • British central bank upgrades economic growth forecast to 3.4% for 2014 – The Bank of England (BOE), the central bank of Britain, has raised its economic growth forecast for 2014 to 3.4%, up from 2.8% it made previously, according to the latest inflation report on economy issued on Wednesday. (Xinhua, 12/02/14)
  • India pegs FY14 GDP growth at 4.9% versus 4.5% in FY13 – That’s technically a recovery from the 10-year low of 4.5% growth in 2012-13 on the back of a monsoon boost which will see rural incomes rise and an improvement in services. But the number is significantly below India’s current economic growth potential of around 7% and has also been lifted by the recent revision of the growth number for 2012-13 from 5%. (Economic Times, 09/02/14)
  • China: Threats to Chinese manufacturing exaggerated: DBS report – Chinese manufacturing is faced with threats from emerging rivals such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, but such threats are exaggerated, Singapore-based banking multinational DBS Bank said Friday in a report. (Xinhua, 08/02/14)
  • OECD index shows growth recovery in major economies – The CLIs, designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, stood at 100.9 for the OECD area, up by 0.1 percentage point compared to last month, while the outlook of seven major economies pointed to a firming growth. (Xinhua, 10/02/14)
  • Japan: Jan. bankruptcies down for 15th straight month in Japan – The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan in January dropped 7.5% from a year earlier to 864 for the 15th straight month of decline, a credit research agency said Monday. (Kyodo, 10/02/14)
  • Philippines: FDI inflows up 36.6% in Jan.-Nov. – Foreign direct investment (FDIs) inflows in the Philippines rose by 36.6% on year to US$3.6bn in January to November 2013. (Xinhua, 10/02/14)
  • BOJ does not need to take further easing steps now: IMF official – The Bank of Japan does not have to loosen its monetary grip now, as the central bank’s drastic easing steps –introduced in April last year — have been functioning well, a senior International Monetary Fund official said Wednesday. (Kyodo, 12/02/14)
  • S.Korea’s employment grows most in 12 years – Job creation in South Korea grew most in around 12 years last month, indicating that the country’s labor market showed signs of full-fledged recovery, a government report showed Wednesday. (Xinhua, 12/02/14)
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