What happened this week 31/03 – 04/04

Thailand

  • Thailand’s manufacturing production index (MPI) shrank 4.4% YoY in February, the 11th straight monthly contraction. The body will cut its 2014 GDP forecast to 2-2.5% from 3-4%. (Krungtep Thurakit, 29/03/14)
  • Politics plagues BoI applications, dropping by over 50%. It hopes to be able to get a new board after the Songkran holiday, hoping a new board can expedite projects stuck in the pipeline. (Thai Post, 29/03/14)
  • Lower revenue handcuffs FPO – The government’s falling revenue is becoming a stumbling block for a new administration to implement economic stimulus focusing on tax incentives, says the Finance Ministry’s senior official. (Bangkok Post, 01/04/14)
  • TDRI cautions government that corruption will slow economic development. A study indicates that Thailand came last in several categories related to corruption, such as wasteful government spending, and granting of contracts to bids by related parties, when compared to neighboring countries. (Krungtep Thrurakit, 01/04/14)
  • BoT optimistic about exports, tourism rebound – Economic growth in the first quarter may contract QoQ as there are solid signs of a downturn, but a recovery in exports and tourism is expected to revive momentum in the second quarter, says the BoT. (Bangkok Post, 01/04/14)
  • March inflation at 9-month high but within target, reports Commerce – The Thai Consumer Price Index is on a trend to grow continuously in the first half of the year mainly from rising food and consumer-goods prices fuelled by drought and hot weather, despite lower global fuel prices and lower spending confidence domestically because of political uncertainty. (The Nation 02/04/14)
  • BoT chief warns of recession, Rebound likely from third quarter of 2014 – Thailand is facing the risk of recession for the first two quarters, but the situation is not worrisome, as the economy is likely to rebound from the third quarter, says the Bank of Thailand chief. (Bangkok Post, 02/04/14)
  • ADB slashes GDP forecast – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) warns Thailand’s economic growth will dip below 2% this year if a new functioning government is not installed by the end of the third quarter, adding to the country’s gloomy prospects. (Bangkok Post, 02/04/14)
  • Government to appoint new BoI – A new Board of Investment (BoI) is likely to be in place soon after the caretaker government has been allowed by the Council of State and the Election Commission to proceed with the new board’s appointment. Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, caretaker deputy government spokesman, said without a new board, investment applications worth as much as Bt600bn are being shelved. (Bangkok Post, 02/04/14)
  • Consumption may contract in real terms — The FPO warns that high inflation and economic slowdown will lead to contraction of consumption in real terms, prompting producers and manufacturers to suffer. If left unchecked, this can lead to loss of investment and product development. (Post Today, 03/04/14)
  • Consumer confidence sinks – Consumer confidence will drop further to hit a 15-year low if no functioning government is installed in the second half of this year, warns the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC). (Bangkok Post, 04/04/14)
  • Thai household debt up in 4Q13 — According to the BoT, Thai household increased in 4Q13 to 82.3% from 80.5% in 3Q14. Annual household debt in 2013 was at Bt9.8tn (82.3% of GDP) up by 11.4% from 2012’s Bt8.8tn (77.36% of GDP). 2013 consumption also slowed when compared to 2012. In 2013 it was at 4.6% of GDP while in 2012 it was at 7.9% of GDP. (Matichon, 04/04/14)
  • Thailand placed on credit alert, CR downgrades outlook to negative – The Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) has become the first ratings agency to downgrade Thailand’s credit outlook to “negative” from “stable”. (Bangkok Post, 04/04/14)
  • EC asked to keep VAT at 7%, corporate income tax at 20% — The Revenue Department has submitted a request to the EC to maintain the VAT level at 7% and corporate income tax at 20% for an additional year. (Thai Post, 04/04/14)

Globally

  • US: Both U.S. personal income and consumer spending rose 0.3% in February, the Commerce Department said, with the former beating market expectations and the latter matching analysts’ forecast. However, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index’s final reading in March came out at 80.0, missing market consensus of 80.5. (Xinhua, 29/03/14)
  • US: The Chicago Business Barometer dropped 3.9 points in March to 55.9, the lowest level since August, according to ISM-Chicago, a non-profit association dedicated to strengthening the community of purchasing and supply management professionals in the Chicagoland area. However, a separate report posted by the Dallas Fed reflected that Texas manufacturing sector strengthened further. The Texas factory activity index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, increased for the eleventh month in a row in March, rising from 10.8 to 17.1. (Xinhua, 01/04/14)
  • U.S. manufacturing accelerates in March – The manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), registered 53.7 percent, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from February’s reading, the Institute for Supply Management said in a report. (Xinhua, 01/04/14)
  • US: US private-sector employment increased by 191,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to private payroll processor ADP. The increase was slightly below analysts’ expectations but was the strongest in three months, indicating that the U.S. job market is recovering from the harsh winter weather over the past two months. U.S. factory orders rose 1.6% in February, said the Commerce Department, beating market expectations. (Xinhua, 03/04/14)
  • U.S. Crude inventories dropped 2.38mn barrels to 380.1mn barrels in the week ended March 28, according to a report released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration, a statistics arm of the U.S. Energy Department. (Xinhua, 02/04/14)
  • OECD annual inflation slows to 1.4% in February – Consumer prices in the area of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rose by 1.4% in February, compared with 1.7% in January, said the OECD on Tuesday. (Xinhua, 02/04/14)
  • US: Activity of the U.S. non-manufacturing sector picked up in March, according to latest data. The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 50th consecutive month, with its non-manufacturing index registering 53.1 in March, higher than February’s 51.6. Meanwhile, financial data firm Markit’s U.S. Services Purchasing Managers’ Index registered 55.3 in March, up from 53.3 in February. (Xinhua, 04/04/14)
  • U.S. initial jobless claims rise amid improving job market – In the week ending March 29, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits increased by 16,000 to 326,000, U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. (Xinhua, 03/03/14)
  • U.S. trade deficit widens to five-month high – The deficit of goods and services increased to US$42.3bn in February, up 7.7% percent from the revised US$39.3bn in January. (Xinhua, 03/03/14)
  • Europe: The ECB decided to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25%. Furthermore the ECB is “unanimous in its commitment to using also unconventional instruments within its mandate in order to cope effectively with risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation,” said ECB Mario Draghi. (Xinhua, 03/03/14)
  • PPI of eurozone, EU drops in February – The industrial producer prices index (PPI) in eurozone and the European Union both fell by 0.2 percent on monthly basis, the European Union (EU)’s statistics office said Wednesday. (Xinhua, 02/04/14)
  • Eurozone jobless rate remains high, but stable since October 2013 – The eurozone seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.9 percent in February, stable since October 2013, European Union (EU) statistics office Eurostat said Tuesday. (Xinhua, 01/04/14)
  • German unemployment falls in March – Compared with the previous month, people registered as unemployed decreased by 83,000 to 3.05 million in March, the German Federal Labour Agency said. Adjusted for seasonal fluctuation, unemployment was down by 12,000 to 2.90 million and the jobless rate dropped to 6.7% from 6.8% in February. (Xinhua, 01/04/14)
  • Eurozone economic confidence rises in March – The eurozone economic confidence increased in March by 1.2 points to 102.4, exceeding a more modest expectation of 101.5 points by analysts, a survey published by the European Commission showed on Friday. (Xinhua, 29/03/14)
  • Japan’s Feb. jobless rate down to 3.6%, lowest since July 2007 – Japan’s unemployment rate improved to 3.6% in February from 3.7% the previous month, government data showed Friday, indicating an expansion in corporate profits has prompted companies to hire more workers on the back of the nascent economic recovery. (Kyodo, 28/03/14)
  • Massive China economic stimulus unlikely – With further shrinkage in China’s growth on the cards in Q1, reform will be used to fend off economic slowdown rather than an economic stimulus, economists have said. (Xinhua, 31/03/14)
  • BOCOM lowers China 2014 CPI growth forecast to 2.6% – China’s consumer price index (CPI) is likely to grow about 2.4-2.6% in March, higher than the 2% growth in February, according to the latest forecast by the Bank of Communications (BOCOM), released on Monday. (Xinhua, 31/03/14)
  • Japan’s industrial output falls 2.3% in Feb., hit by heavy snowfall – Japan’s industrial production index in February fell 2.3% from the previous month, marking the first decrease in three months as heavy snowfall led automakers to halt factory operations, government data showed Monday. (Kyodo, 31/03/14)
  • Vietnam’s economy to rise by 5.6% in 2014: ADB forecast – – Vietnam’s economy is forecast to rise slightly from 5.4% in 2013 to 5.6% in 2014, picking up further to 5.8% in 2015 following economic recoveries in the United States, the Eurozone and Vietnam’s progresses in addressing weaknesses in domestic banking sector. (Xinhua, 01/04/14)
  • Japan big manufacturers’ sentiment improves for 5th straight qtr: Tankan – The Tankan survey’s headline index measuring sentiment among big manufacturers such as carmakers and high-tech firms increased to +17 from December’s +16, also lifted by favorable earnings due to a weakening yen. The figure was slightly lower than the average forecast of +18. (Kyodo, 01/04/14)
  • China’s non-manufacturing PMI drops – The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China’s non-manufacturing sector dropped 0.5 percentage points in March from a month earlier to 54.5%, data showed on Thursday. (Xinhua, 03/03/14)
  • China moves to stabilize faltering economy – After a string of economic indicators suggesting China’s first quarter growth may have slipped below the annual target of 7.5%, the government has decided to try to arrest the slowdown with a package of policies. (Xinhua, 03/03/14)
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One thought on “What happened this week 31/03 – 04/04”

  1. BoT chief warns of recession, Rebound likely from third quarter of 2014 – Thailand is facing the risk of recession for the first two quarters, but the situation is not worrisome, as the economy is likely to rebound from the third quarter, says the Bank of Thailand chief. (Bangkok Post, 02/04/14)

    I just don’t see this playing out in this year. It would appear Phua Thai is in deep trouble and a high likely hood of an appointed Government. The result of which would be the UDD on the streets instead of the PRDC.

    The divide between the two really runs deep.

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