• Cabinet acknowledges improvements in industrial sector – The Cabinet has been informed by the Ministry of Industry of more positive trends in various industrial figures over recent months. Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukvanich also disclosed the MPI of February 2015, saying it increased 3.55 points, reaching a 23-month high. Despite a slight drop in industrial exports, remarkable growth was seen in the imports of raw materials and capital goods, signifying healthy recovery. (NNT, 7/4/15)
  • JCR gives Thailand stable rating – The Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) has revised Thailand’s outlook for its foreign and local currency long-term issuer rating to stable from negative to reflect a solid fiscal position and external balance and the stability of its banking system. (Bangkok Post, 8/4/15)
  • Panel expects tourism and rise in spending to bolster GDP – The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking still believes that gross domestic product can expand by 3.5 per cent this year, as the rebound of tourism and the expected increase in private and public spending in the second half should be able to compensate for the slump in exports. (The Nation, 8/4/15)

  • Rice exporters want THB curbed – Chareon Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, urged the government to curb the strengthening Thai baht. The baht has appreciated against the US dollar to Bt32 from Bt32.50, resulting in a US$5-10 /ton increase in selling price. (Post Today, 8/4/15)
  • Q1 exports picked to dip 3% – First-quarter exports are expected to contract by 3% year-onyear, possibly shaving 1.6 percentage points off GDP growth, but tourism and government spending could compensate for dismal export growth, says Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula. The first-quarter export contraction of 3% is an estimate based on the decline in shipments over the first two months, which fell by 3.46% year-on-year in January and 6.14% in February, MR Pridiyathorn said. (Bangkok Post, 4/4/15)
  • Panel lays out roadmap for public-private partnerships – The government has endorsed a five-year strategic plan for public-private partnerships (PPPs) covering 65 development projects in 20 categories, worth 1.35 trillion baht. The plan, which was approved yesterday by the PPP Policy
  • Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, will be submitted for cabinet approval and is expected to be announced this month for use as a guideline for joint investments with the private sector. (Bangkok Post, 4/4/15)
  • Q1 exports to dip 4%, Pridiyathorn keen on consumption – Thai exports are likely to bottom in the first quarter with a contraction of 4%, says Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula. The predicted drop is attributed largely to the slower-than-expected global economic recovery and Thailand’s lower competitiveness. “After the first quarter, exports are unlikely to be an area of concern. The momentum of consumers’ consumption recovery and the government’s accelerated spending are expected to help drive economic growth this year,” he said. He said private consumption was returning as indicated by higher value-added tax collection in the first quarter, an increase of 9.75% from the same period last year. (Bangkok Post, 9/4/15)
  • Prayut reaches out to Moscow – Thailand and Russia pledged to boost cooperation, emphasising the importance of close ties and understanding in the face of global challenges during a joint press conference between Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev yesterday. The two premiers said Thailand and Russia intend to boost trade volume to US$10 billion (325.7 billion baht) next year, jumping from US$5 billion in 2014. “Trade barriers or obstacles that might slow economic growth between us will be removed,” Mr. Medvedev said. According to Gen Prayut, Russia agreed to import various products from Thailand, such as rice, fruit, pork, seafood and rubber. (Bangkok Post, 9/4/15)


  • Fed should not raise rates until late 2016 – Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota on Tuesday laid out a case for waiting until the second half of 2016 to start raising interest rates, and to then raise them gradually to just 2 percent by the end of 2017. (Reuters, 7/4/15)
  • U.S. job openings registered 5.13 million in February, the highest level since January 2001, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. (Xinhua, 8/4/15)
  • ECB Meets Purchase Target in First Month of Quantitative Easing – The European Central Bank said it reached its purchase target of 60 billion euros ($65 billion) in the first month of its quantitative-easing program. (Bloomberg, 7/4/15)
  • Italy raises growth forecast to 0.7 pct for 2015 – The Italian government delivered fresh estimates for the period 2015-2018 on Tuesday, after a preliminary review of a three-year Economic and Financial Document that has to be approved by April 10. The government forecast gross domestic product (GDP) would growth by 0.7 percent in 2015 from the previous 0.6 percent predicted last year, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said after the cabinet’s meeting. The cabinet also predicted GDP to grow by 1.4 percent in 2016, and by 1.5 percent in 2017. (Xinhua, 8/4/15)
  • France Markit Services PMI at 52.4, below expectations (52.8) in March. (FX Street, 7/4/15)
  • U.S. adds only 126,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate unchanged at 5.5 percent –The U.S. economy added 126,000 jobs in March, falling short of Economists’ expectation for 245,000 and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, the latest sign the labor market might be slowing down, the Labor Department reported Friday. (Xinhua, 3/4/15)
  • Greece says to meet financial obligations to creditors indefinitely – Greece intends to meet all financial obligations to its creditors “ad infinitum”, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Monday. In a short statement issued by her office, Lagarde welcomed Athens’ assurances on the April 9 repayment of the IMF’s 450 million euros (455 U.S. dollars) worth of installment. The IMF chief also stressed that “effective cooperation is in everyone’ s interest” and that the Fund “remains committed to work together with authorities to help Greece return to a sustainable path of growth and employment.” (Xinhua, 6/4/15)
  • Insee expects rosy picture of France’s growth in H1 – In a economic report released late on Thursday, Insee revised up its growth estimate for the first three months of 2015 to 0.4 percent from previous 0.3 percent, thanks to “the extra purchasing power provided by the greater-than expected drop in oil prices.” Household consumption will grow by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of the year and by 0.3 percent in the second “mainly due to a bigger rebound in energy consumption,” the statistics agency estimated. The growth forecast for the second quarter remained unchanged at 0.3 percent, it added. (Xinhua, 3/4/15)
  • Japan’s composite economic index down in February – Japan’s key composite index of economic indicators fell in February for the first time in three months, the government said Monday, reflecting a slowdown in manufacturing activities. The index of coincident indicators, such as industrial output, retail sales and new job offers, decreased 2.8 points from the previous month to 110.5 against the 2010 base of 100, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report. (Kyodo News, 6/4/15)
  • U.S. Fed officials divide over June rate hike – U.S. Federal Reserve officials are divided over whether the central bank should raise interest rate in June, according to the minutes of the Fed’s monetary policy meeting on March 17-18 published on Wednesday. (Xinhua, 9/4/15)
  • U.S. mortgage applications rise in latest week: MBA – Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates declined, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 0.4 percent in the week ended April 3. The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 3.3 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 6.8 percent to its highest level since July 2013. (Reuters, 8/4/15)
  • Eurozone retail trade sees 0.2 pct monthly drop in Feb. – The seasonally adjusted retail trade volume registered a slight month-on-month fall of 0.2 percent in the 19-member euro zone in February, reported Eurostat, the European Union’s (EU) statistical office, in a statement here on Wednesday. (Xinhua,8/4/15)
  • Italy raises growth forecast to 0.7 pct for 2015 – The Italian government delivered fresh estimates for the period 2015-2018 on Tuesday, after a preliminary review of a three-year Economic and Financial Document that has to be approved by April 10. The government forecast gross domestic product (GDP) would growth by 0.7 percent in 2015 from the previous 0.6 percent predicted last year, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said after the cabinet’s meeting. (Xinhua,8/4/15)
  • China e-commerce transactions hit RMB13.4 trn in 2014 – China’s e-commerce transactions came to 13.4 trillion yuan in 2014, a rise of 31.4 percent from 2013, according a report by China Ecommerce Research Center (CECRC) on Wednesday. (Xinhua, 8/4/15)
  • BOJ keeps massive monetary stimulus intact – The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday kept its massive monetary stimulus intact, as widely expected, reiterating that the world’s number three economy is recovering moderately. By an 8-1 vote at the end of a two-day meeting, policymakers maintained their pledge to boost monetary base by 80 trillion yen a year through purchases of government bonds and risky assets, a quantitative easing (QE) program that’s been in place since April 2013. (CNBC, 8/4/15)
  • Japan service sector sentiment improves for fourth month in March – Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose to its highest level in a year, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Wednesday, a welcome sign of confidence as the country struggles to emerge from 15 years of deflation. (Economic Times, 8/4/15)

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