• MPC keeps policy rate on hold, Weak baht seen as helpful to recovery – The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday kept its policy interest rate unchanged for a second straight meeting. It believed this year’s two interest rate cuts and the baht at a six-year low were accommodative to exports and an economic recovery even though it saw more downside risks to growth. (Bangkok Post, 6/8/15)
  • Land tax gets another change – Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has made another tweak to the land and buildings tax bill – the value of buildings will be taxed, but collection will start three years after the law comes into force. The bill will go before the cabinet for approval in the next few weeks, he said. (Bangkok Post, 5/8/15)
  • Export growth target may be cut to zero – Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya has called for a meeting of senior officials from the ministry to review this year’s export-growth target for a possible downgrade from 1.2 per cent to zero. In the first six months, outbound shipments shrank 4.8 per cent. However, this was better than other exporting countries and, more important, Thailand still retained its share in other markets, he said yesterday, expressing confidence for export growth in the latter half. (The Nation, 5/8/15)
  • U.S. private sector job growth slows down in July: survey – The job growth of the U.S.private sector slowed down last month but upward trend remained, said a private survey released Thursday. The private companies added 185,000 jobs in July, down from 229, 000 jobs in June, said the National Employment Report released jointly by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Moody’s Analytics, based on a monthly survey. (Xinhua, 6/8/15)

  • China’s top bank regulator says bad loans surge, profit growth slows in cooling economy – Bad loans at Chinese banks rose 35.7 per cent during the first half of 2015 as economic growth remained sluggish and manufacturers struggled, the chairman of the banking sector regulator said. Shang Fulin, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), told an internal meeting last week that non-performing loans (NPLs) at banks rose 322.2 billion yuan in the first six months of the year to 1.8 trillion yuan ($289.9 billion), according to a transcript of the meeting seen by Reuters. (Economic Times, 6/8/15)
  • China’s machinery sector grows slower than expected – Production growth in China’s machinery sector slowed sharply in the first half of 2015, an industry association said on Thursday, predicting a moderate rebound amid grim conditions. The China Machinery Industry Federation (CMIF) said the sector expanded just 5.7 percent in the first six months, while the growth was 11.2 percent in the same period last year. (Xinhua, 6/8/15)
  • British central bank keeps interest rate on hold – The Bank of England (BoE) Thursday voted 8-1 to keep its main interest rate Bank Rate unchanged at 0. 5 percent, and kept the quantitative easing (QE) policy at 375 billion pounds (or 581 billion U.S. dollars). (Xinhua, 7/8/15)
  • Eurozone services PMI edged down in July – The Eurozone Services PMI edged down to 54.0 in July, from 54.4 in June, but above the earlier flash estimate of 53.8. The index has now stayed above 50.00 throughout the past two years. (FX Street, 5/8/15)
  • Greek economy to be one third smaller than at peak level: think tank – A leading economic think-tank forecast Wednesday that Greece’s GDP will shrink this year by 3% and 2.3% next year. Thus it will eventually be nearly a third smaller than it was at its peak. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) forecasts that Greece’s economy would be 30% smaller than its peak in 2007, and 7% smaller when it joined the euro zone in 2001. (Xinhua, 5/8/15)
  • U.S. service sector activity hits 10-year high -ISM survey – The Institute for Supply Management said its services sector index rose to 60.3, its highest reading since August 2005, a sign of confidence that the non-manufacturing sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was growing swiftly. Expectations were for a reading of 56.2, according to a Reuters poll. (Reuters, 5/8/15)

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