• Fed should start trimming balance sheet in second half: Bullard. The Federal Reserve has interest rates right where they should be, but should start trimming its massive balance sheet in the second half of the year, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Friday. “We’ve delayed a little bit too long in reducing the size of the balance sheet,” Bullard said in an interview with Reuters near the Stanford University campus, where he is attending a conference on monetary policy. (Reuters, 5/5/1
  • Draghi Says Too Early to Declare ECB Success as Growth Firms. Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank’s stimulus hasn’t finished the job yet, even as he acknowledged that the region’s economy is getting stronger. “The economic recovery has evolved from being fragile and uneven into a firming, broad-based upswing,” the ECB president said at the opening of a hearing at the Dutch Parliament in The Hague on Wednesday. “Nevertheless, it is too early to declare success.” (Bloomberg, 11/5/17)
  • EEC tied to Belt and Road. The government says the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is ready to be an important part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which envisions connectivity between China and Eurasia. (Bangkok Post, 9/5/17)
  • Measures to fast-track EEC infrastructure on the table. The government says it will decide by year-end how to shorten the public-private partnership (PPP) process for the construction of infrastructure projects in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). (Bangkok Post, 11/5/17)
  • China’s April economic data indicate growth momentum slows after strong Q1. The country’s industrial output rose 6.5 per cent in April from a year ago, worse than Reuters’ projection of 7.1 percent and down from March’s 7.6 percent growth. Retail sales, which increase by 10.7 percent year-on-year in April, beat the 10.6 percent forecast by Reuters but still softer than March’s 10.9 percent. (CNBC, 16/5/17)
  • U.S. oil inventories fall; crude draws down for sixth week: EIA. U.S. crude oil inventories fell for a sixth straight week, as OPEC efforts to reduce supply appear to be coming to fruition ahead of the cartel’s upcoming meeting next week, while gasoline and distillate stocks also dropped. That boosted oil prices immediately after the data, with U.S crude futures CLc1 bouncing to a high of $49.50 a barrel before retreating modestly. Crude was up 67 cents to $49.32 a barrel as of 10:48 a.m. EDT, though prices are still 8 percent below April’s peak of $53.76. Brent rose 81 cents to $52.45 a barrel. (Reuters, 18/5/17)
  • IMF sees 2017 Thai GDP growth at 3.0%. This is due to the aging society and low productivity. However, Khun Kobsak, a deputy minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, is confident that the GDP can stand around 3.5% – 4.0% without showing a slowdown signal. (Bangkok Biz, 11/5/17)
  • Thai auto production falls 13% in April. Automobile production in Thailand shrank 13% on the year in April, weighed down by sluggish exports. The volume fell to 120,473 units, the Federation of Thai Industries said Wednesday. This marks a third straight month of decline and the lowest tally in 64 months. In December 2011, the output dropped to 99,426 due to severe flooding that year. (Nikkei, 18/5/17)
  • BOT links with commercial banks and an asset management company to set up debt resolution clinics. THE BANK of Thailand has joined forces with 16 commercial banks and Sukhumvit Asset Management Co (SAM) to set up clinics to clear up non-collateral debt problems with several creditors amid high levels of household debt. (The Nation, 18/5/17)
  • Ministry of Finance expects 13 million people to register for the low-income package, which is less than targeted. The package details will be announced within two months. (Thai Post, 15/5/17)

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