• Ministry spotlights sectors with potential to boost GDP – The Industry Ministry expects industrial GDP growth of 2-3% to 2.63 trillion baht, rebounding from a contraction of 0.4% last year, with support from some rising-star industries. Udom Wongviwatchai, director-general of the ministry’s Office of Industrial Economics, specified eight major industries with rising capacity. (Bangkok Post,5/6/15)
  • Investment disbursal raises hope – Investment budget disbursement, a crucial economic growth engine when other drivers remain fragile, is likely to reach 85-86% this fiscal year, raising hopes economic growth can exceed 3%. (Bangkok Post,5/6/15)
  • Consumer confidence down for fifth month in a row: survey – The Consumer Confidence Index fell for the fifth consecutive month in May, reflecting uncertainties over the economic recovery, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting at the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, which urges the government to accelerate its budget disbursement. (The Nation, 5/6/15)
    World Bank sees 3.5% Thai growth, weak exports – The economy is projected to expand by 3.5% this year driven mainly by tourism’s recovery and higher public expenditure, while export growth is expected to be anaemic at 0.5%, says the World Bank. (Bangkok Post, 4/6/15)
  • Sommai plans carrot-and-stick approach to battle tax evasion – The Finance Ministry will resort to adopting a number of carrot-and-stick measures in a bid to combat widespread tax evasion, including a prize-draw scheme linking value-added tax invoice numbers to the government lottery results. (The Nation, 4/6/15)

  • Baht the new MPC focus – The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) plans to focus more on the foreign exchange rate when formulating its policy in a bid to reinforce the country’s export competitiveness. (Bangkok Post, 3/6/15)
  • Thailand has a chance of facing ‘technical deflation’ – Consumer prices continued falling for a fifth straight month in May, leading the country to face “technical deflation” since June figures are expected to remain negative. (Bangkok Post, 3/6/15)
  • BoT to slash growth forecast from 3.8% – The Bank of Thailand plans to cut its economic growth forecast for this year from 3.8%, as it expects the pace of recovery in the second quarter will remain fragile. (Bangkok Post, 30/5/15)
  • Private sector can apply for SEZ leases – The government is set to announce the new landleasing rates next week for areas designated as special economic zones (SEZs) and allow the private sector to apply for leases. (Bangkok Post, 30/5/15)
  • BoI upbeat after first four months – The board of Investment has maintained its target of approving Bt350 billion worth of projects this year as the number of new requests in the first four months did not drop as previously expected. (The Nation, 30/5/15)


  • U.S. initial jobless claims fall to 276,000 – The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid fell last week, as the job market keeps tight. In the week ending May 30, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits fell to 276,000, 8,000 less than the revised level of the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. (Xinhua, 4/6/15)
  • U.S. Q1 non-farm productivity revised down to -3.1% from -1.9% – U.S. non-farm productivity declined more than initially expected in the first quarter, while unit labor costs rose sharply, official data showed on Thursday. In a report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said non-farm business sector labor productivity decreased by a seasonally adjusted 3.1% in the first three months of the year, worse than expectations for a decline of 2.9% and compared to an initial estimate of a drop of 1.9%. (Investing, 4/6/15)
  • IMF urges U.S. Fed to delay interest rate hike until 2016 – The International Monetary Fund on Thursday suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve should delay its first interest rate hike in almost nine years until the first half of 2016, as the Washington-based institution cuts its forecast for the U.S. economy in 2015. Given the uncertainty in the economy and inflation outlook, the Fed should wait to raise rates “until there are more tangible signs of wage or price inflation than are currently evident,” the IMF said in a statement after concluding the 2015 Article IV Consultation with the U.S. on Thursday. (Xinhua, 4/6/15)
  • BoE maintains ultra-low interest rate for 75th month – The Bank of England (BoE) monetary policy committee Thursday voted to keep its main interest rate Bank Rate unchanged at 0.5 percent, and quantitative easing (QE) policy at 375 billion pounds (or 576 billion U.S. dollars). (Xinhua, 4/6/15)
  • Greece formally requests IMF to repay June loan installments with delay – Greece formally requested on Thursday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay the loan installments due this June with a delay, according to the Central Bank of Greece. Athens had to repay a 300 million euros (about 336 million U.S. dollars) installment on June 5, the second on June 12, the third on June 16 and the final one for this month on June 19. The total sum amounted to 1.5 billion euros. (Xinhua, 4/6/15)
  • Imported vehicle sales in Japan rise 10.8% on year in May – Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those built abroad by Japanese automakers, rose 10.8 percent in May from a year earlier to 22,834 units, an industry body said Thursday. Sales of foreign-brand vehicles increased 12.2 percent to 20,104 units and those of Japanese-brand cars grew 1.8 percent to 2,730 units, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association. (Kyodo, 4/6/15)
  • U.S. private sector adds 201,000 jobs in May – The U.S. private sector added 201,000 jobs in May, the best performance since February, said a private survey released Wednesday. U.S. private companies added 201,000 jobs in May, up from 165, 000 jobs in April, said the National Employment Report released jointly by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Moody’s Analytics, based on a monthly survey. (Xinhua, 4/6/15)
  • U.S. trade deficit in April shrinks as imports fall – U.S. trade gap narrowed in April as imports fall, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The country’s trade deficit shrank by 19.2 percent from the previous month to 40.9 billion U.S. dollars in April. In the month, exports increased 1.9 billion dollars or one percent from March to 189.9 billion dollars, while imports fell 7.8 billion dollars or 3. 3 percent to 230.8 billion dollars, after rising 6.5 percent in March. (Xinhua, 3/6/15)
  • U.S. service sector slows expansion pace in May – Economic activity in the U.S. service sector eased growth momentum in May, an industry survey showed on Wednesday. The NonManufacturing Index (NMI), which measures activity in the U.S. service sector, registered 55.7 in May, 2.1 points lower than April’s reading, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said in its monthly survey. (Xinhua, 3/6/15)
  • ECB sees growth faltering as it presses on with QE – Europe has lost some growth momentum and bond market volatility is here to stay, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday, pledging to see through its money printing scheme until its job of lifting the economy is done. In remarks after the bank left rates on hold at record lows, ECB president Mario Draghi also urged a deal with Greece, which is facing default without aid, in order to keep it in the currency bloc. (Reuters, 3/6/15)
  • Eurozone unemployment rate falls to 11.1 pct in April – The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the 19-member eurozone was 11.1 percent in April 2015, down from the 11.2 percent in March 2015 and the 11.7 percent in April 2014, the European Union (EU) said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in the 28-member EU was 9.7 percent in April 2015, same as the previous month and lower than the 10.3 percent in April 2014, said Eurostat, the statistical office of EU. (Xinhua, 3/6/15)
  • Eurozone services PMI rises more than expected – The Markit final Eurozone services PMI printed at 53.8 in May, beating the estimate of 53.3. However, the actual print was lower than the previous month’s print of 54.1. (FX Street, 3/6/15)
  • China services PMI continues to grow: HSBC – China’s service sector continued to expand in May, according to an industry index released by HSBC on Wednesday. The HSBC/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) posted at 53.5 in May, up from 52.9 in April, registering the quickest expansion in eight months. (Xinhua, 3/6/15)
  • U.S. Factories Continue to Expand – Rising demand and an increasing backlog of unfilled orders augur well for the nation’s factories this quarter, according to data released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management. Its purchasing managers index—a collective look at production, new orders, employment, delivery times and inventory activity across the factory sector—climbed to 52.8 in May after holding at 51.5 in March and April. A reading above 50 indicates expanding activity. (WSJ, 1/6/15)
  • U.S. Personal Income Rises 0.4% In April, Slightly More Than Expected – While the U.S. Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing that personal income increased by slightly more than expected in April, the report also showed that personal spending unexpectedly came in nearly flat. The report said personal income rose by 0.4 percent in April after inching up by less than a tenth of a percent in March. Economists had expected income to climb by 0.3 percent. (Nasdaq, 1/6/15)
  • Auto Makers Posted Strong U.S. May Sales – Cheap financing and a spate of Memorial Day promotions led to another strong month for U.S. auto sales in May, running at an annualized pace to achieve the highest volume since 2001. (WSJ, 2/6/15)
  • U.S. factory orders continue to fall – U.S. factory orders declined again in April after a rebound in March, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a report Tuesday. In April, new orders for manufactured goods decreased 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, or 0.4 percent, to 476.7 billion dollars, which represents a decrease in eight of the last nine months. There was a 2.2-percent increase in March only. (Xinhua, 2/6/15)
  • Greece presents “realistic plan” to exit debt crisis: PM – Greece has presented a “realistic plan” to exit the debt crisis to lenders and now awaits European leadership’s decision on the dilemma between moving forward in unity or devide the continent, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday. (Xinhua, 2/6/15)
  • British manufacturing PMI edges up to 52.0 in May – British manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a gauge of the industry activities, edged up to 52.0 in May 2015 from the revised 51.8 in April 2015, said Markit Economics Limited Monday. The data was lower than the market estimates consensus of 52.5, though it has stayed above the neutral 50.0 mark in each month since April 2013. (Xinhua, 2/6/15)
  • France’s unemployment rate up 0.7 pct in April – About 26,200 more people were unemployed by the end of April, pushing the country’s total jobseekers to around 3.5 million in French mainland, the Labor Ministry’s monthly data showed on Monday. On monthly basis, the unemployment rate rose by 0.7 percent last month compared to March figures. Year-on-year, 5.1 percent more people were out of work, the ministry said. (Xinhua, 2/6/15)
  • Another first-quarter shocker: U.S. GDP falls 0.7% – The economy contracted in the first quarter for the second straight year, a disappointing start that could foil the chance of the U.S. reaching 3% growth in 2015 for the first time in a decade. (Market Watch, 29/5/15)
  • U.S. consumer spending nearly flat in April – U.S. consumers’ personal income continued to rise while their spending was little changed in April, a sign of Americans’ cautious consumption attitude, the Commerce Department reported on Monday. In the month, personal income increased 0.4 percent following a less than 0.1 percent growth in March. Personal spending decreased 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, or less than 0.1 percent, compared to a 0.5-percent-increase in the previous month. (Xinhua, 1/6/15)
  • Eurozone, EU economic sentiment stable in May – The latest survey released on Thursday by the European Commission showed that the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained unchanged in both the euro area, at 103.8 points, and the European Union (EU) at 106.4 points, in May. (Xinhua, 1/6/15)
  • China’s manufacturing activity deteriorates in May: HSBC – China’s manufacturing activity continued to deteriorate in May, a private survey showed on Monday, suggesting continued downward pressure on the world’s second-largest economy. The HSBC/Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China’s manufacturing sector last month stood at 49.2, level with the market forecast and higher than the preliminary reading of 49.1. (Xinhua, 1/6/15)
  • Japan’s May new auto sales down 7.6% as minicar sales sluggish – Japan’s new auto sales fell 7.6 percent in May from a year earlier to 335,644 units, as April’s auto tax increase on mini vehicles continued to weigh on demand, industry bodies said Monday. (Kyodo, 1/6/15)
  • Japan Jan.-March business investment up 7.3% on year – Capital spending by Japanese firms rose 7.3 percent from a year earlier in the January-March period for the eighth consecutive quarterly expansion amid a continued economic recovery, the government said Monday. Business investment by all nonfinancial sectors for purposes such as building plants and introducing new equipment totaled 13.13 trillion yen ($105.6 billion), the Finance Ministry said. (Kyodo, 1/6/15)
    Japan’s jobless rate falls to 3.3% in April – Japan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3 percent in April from 3.4 percent the previous month, the government said Friday. (Kyodo, 29/5/15)

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