• Credit card spending up in May – According to the Bank of Thailand, credit card spending in May rose by 6.8% YoY to Bt130bn. Cash advances increased 8.8%, reflecting tightening liquidity among credit card holders. (Post Today, 14/7/15)
  • UTCC: Exports to slump 3.8%, Negative factors will drag down shipments – Thailand’s exports are expected to shrink by 3.8% this year, the most in three years, because of myriad negative risks, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC). (Bangkok Post, 15/7/15)
  • VAT freeze to stay for another year – The cabinet has approved a Finance Ministry proposal to maintain the value added tax (VAT) at 7 per cent until September 30, 2016, as the economy is still considered sluggish and the government does not want to add burden on the public’s purchasing power. (The Nation, 15/7/15)
  • Bleak export prospects to hit growth, Sommai warns – Finance Minister Sommai Phasee has painted a bleak economic outlook for the second half of 2015, citing the sputtering export sector as a major cause for concern. Exports, which account for more than 70 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, are projected to contract 1.7 per cent, Sommai said, adding that as a result this year’s economic growth rate would likely drop to below three per cent. (The Nation, 16/7/15)

  • Drought hits weary small operators, SME Bank warns of cut in purchasing power – The decade-worst drought has served a double whammy to small business owners who are already seeing their sales declining by 30-40% from the economic slowdown. (Bangkok Post, 16/7/15)
  • Severe Drought could bring short-term risk for Thai growth – World Bank senior economist for Thailand, Kirida Bhaopichitr, said the country must place importance on competitiveness of the export sector in the next 3-5 years to fuel GDP growth. The World Bank projects Thai GDP growth this year 3.5 per cent if exports grow 0.5 per cent, otherwise it would only be 3 per cent, she said. The World Bank might adjust its forecast again in October, she said. Kirida said that the severe drought could bring short-term risk for Thai growth prospects, as income of farmers account for 9 per cent of total GDP. (The Nation, 16/7/15)


  • Greece bailout: Alexis Tsipras accepts 86-billion-euro bailout from eurozone leaders after 17 hours of talks – Greece has agreed to tough reforms after marathon talks with eurozone leaders in return for a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($129 billion). The terms imposed by international lenders, led by Germany in 17 hours of talks, obliged prime minister Alexis Tsipras to abandon promises of ending austerity and could fracture his government and cause an outcry in Greece. (ABC Online, 14/7/15)
  • Americans more upbeat on earnings, home prices: NY Fed survey – Americans expected higher earnings and home-price growth last month, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey that also found little change in inflation expectations. The New York Fed’s survey of consumer expectations, released on Monday, found median earnings growth expectations rose to 2.5 percent in June from 2.3 percent in May, among the highest readings since the poll started in mid-2013. (Reuters, 13/7/15)
  • China’s foreign trade remains lackluster, but outlook brightens – China’s foreign trade volume continued to drop in the first half (H1) of the year, but an unexpectedly strong exports rebound in June was an encouraging sign for the pressured economy, official data showed on Monday. Total foreign trade dropped 6.9 percent year on year to 11.53 trillion yuan (1.89 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first six months of 2015, slipping further from a 6-percent decline in the first quarter, according to data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC). (Xinhua, 13/7/15)
  • China auto inventory up 3.5pct m-o-m at 1.42 mln units at end-June, CAAM – Automobile manufacturers in China saw their inventories increase by 3.5 percent in June from the previous month, according to the latest data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). At the end of June, China’s auto inventories were 1,415,900 units, compared to 1,367,500 units at the beginning of the month, said the CAAM. (Xinhua, 13/7/15)
  • Yellen intensifies Republican outreach amid Fed probe, Senate bill – As political pressure mounted on the Federal Reserve this spring in the form of a regulation relief bill and a probe into an alleged information leak, Fed Chair Janet Yellen kicked her congressional outreach efforts into high gear. Yellen connected with more individual lawmakers in May than in any other month since she took on the Fed’s top role in February 2014, according to her most recent calendar disclosure, obtained through a freedom of information request. A test of that effort will come on Wednesday, when Yellen delivers her semi-annual monetary policy report to the House Financial Services Committee, the scene of intense verbal clashes when Yellen last appeared before that panel in February. The hearing gets under way at 10:00 a.m. but Yellen’s prepared testimony will be released at 08:30 a.m. (Reuters, 14/7/15)
  • U.S. retail sales fall in June – U.S. retail sales dropped unexpectedly in June, dampening optimism for a strong rebound in consumer spending in the second quarter. Retail sales went down 0.3 percent last month from the previous month, compared to a revised-down 1 percent increase in May, said the Commerce Department Tuesday. On a year-on-year basis, sales went up 0.6 percent. (Xinhua, 14/7/15)
  • U.S. Import Prices Fall 0.1% in June – Prices for imported goods fell in June, a reminder of the strong dollar and soft overseas growth that are constraining the U.S. economy. Import prices decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in June from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected import prices to rise 0.1% in June from May. (WSJ, 14/7/15)
  • Eurozone May industrial production lower than expected -Euro zone industrial production slipped in May, data showed on Tuesday, against expectations of a slight rise, suggesting that the area’s economic recovery stalled in the second quarter after a solid start to the year. The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said industrial production in the 19 countries using the euro fell by 0.4 percent month-on-month, for a 1.6 percent year-on-year gain. (Reuters, 14/7/15)
    British inflation drops back to zero in June – Britain’s consumer prices index (CPI) fell back to zero growth in the year to June 2015, from 0.1 percent in May 2015, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Tuesday. The CPI rate has been hovering around zero since February, and entered deflation in April for the first time on record. However, the rate rose 0.1 percent in May. (Xinhua, 14/7/15)
  • Greek Regular Budget Revenues Fall Short of June Target By 20%–Finance Ministry – Greece’s regular budget revenues in June fell 20% short of the target, hurt by a slowing economy amid uncertainty over the country’s future bailout funding, data showed Tuesday. Regular budget revenues were 701 million euros ($776 million) below target for the month, the Finance Ministry said in a statement, without providing any further information. (Nasdaq, 14/7/15)
  • Greece misses new payment to IMF – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Monday that Greece missed a new repayment worth of about 456 million euros to it by the day after the country failed to make a 1.5 billion-euro repayment due on June 30. (Xinhua, 14/7/15)
  • China’s new yuan loans pick up in H1 – China’s new yuan-denominated loans reached 6.56 trillion yuan (1.07 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, the central bank said Tuesday. Loan volume was 537.1 billion yuan higher than the same period of last year, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement. New yuan loans in June alone reached 1.27 trillion yuan, higher than the previous four months and beating general market expectations, said HSBC analyst Qu Hongbin. (Xinhua, 14/7/15)
  • U.S. Fed expects to hike rate later this year as economy strengthens – The U.S. Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rate later this year, as most Fed officials expect the economy will continue to gain growth momentum over the reminder of this year, according to the Fed chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday. (Xinhua, 16/7/15)
    U.S. industrial production rebounds in June – The U.S. industrial production rose for the first time in three months in June, but the output of the manufacturing sector remained flat in the month, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. The industrial production of the United States, an indicator of factories, mines and utilities output, rose 0.3 percent in June, compared to a 0.2 percent decrease in the previous month. (Xinhua, 16/7/15)
  • U.S. producer prices continue rising in June – The U.S. producer prices continued to rise last month, a sign that inflation is slowly building up. The Producer Price Index (PPI), a gauge of inflation at the factory gate, rose 0.4 percent in June, following a 0.5 percent increase in May, said the Labor Department Wednesday. On year-on- year basis, the PPI declined 0.7 percent, the fifth straight 12- month decrease. Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the so-called “core” PPI went up 0.3 percent, compared with a 0.1 percent increase in May. (Xinhua, 16/7/15)
  • Greek’s parliament approves debt deal and first reforms to avert Grexit – Greek’s parliament approved on early Thursday an omnibus draft bill ratifying the debt deal the government reached with creditors on Monday and the first round of reforms requested as prerequisites for the immediate release of international aid to avert imminent default and Grexit. (Xinhua, 16/7/15)
  • EU tries to assemble 7-bln-euro bridging loan to Greece – The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday proposed to grant Greece a three-month bridging loan worth 7 billion euros from a 28-member backed EU-wide fund to address Athens’ urgent financing need. The proposal aims to give Greece a quick loan before a full bailout program takes effect as the country has to repay a 3. 5-billion-euro loan to the European Central Bank on Monday. (Xinhua, 15/7/15)
  • UK Jobless rate rises for first time in two years – The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate edged up to 5.6 percent in the three months to May as the number of people in employment fell by 67,000, primarily because of fewer part-time workers. Economists had expected the rate to remain stable at 5.5 percent. Sterling initially fell by about half a cent against the dollar and British government bond prices rose. It was the first time the jobless rate had risen since early 2013, shortly before Britain’s economy started to recover from the effects of the financial crisis. (Reuters, 15/7/15)
  • China’s H1 industrial output up 6.3 pct – Industrial output grew 6.3 percent year on year in the first half of 2015, slightly down from a 6.4-percent increase in the first quarter, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday. Surpassing market anticipation, China’s industrial output climbed by 6.8 percent from a year ago for a third straight month of increases in June. (Xinhua, 15/7/15)
  • China’s GDP expands 7 pct in Q2 – China’s economy posted 7-percent growth year on year in the second quarter of 2015, unchanged from the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Wednesday. The growth rate beat a median market forecast of 6.9 percent for the second quarter, as authorities cited “positive signs” in the economy. (Xinhua, 15/7/15)
  • Japan’s central bank cuts growth, inflation forecasts, maintains monetary policy – Following a two-day policy meeting, the central bank announced that it now expects the nation’s economy to expand by 1.7 percent this fiscal year, down from its previous forecast of 2 percent made in April. The policy board meeting also concluded with an inflation downgrade for the fiscal year to March 2016, to 0.7 percent, and 1. 9 percent in the year thereafter. The latest downgrade follows the bank’s initial lofty inflation target of 2.0 percent reconfirmed earlier this year, for the first half of FY 2016. While maintaining its asset purchasing program at an annual rate of 80 trillion yen (about US$648bn) to stimulate prices and growth, the BOJ maintained its view that the world’s third largest economy “has continued to recover moderately.” (Xinhua, 15/7/15)

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