• Lots of interest in IHQs promotion – The Board of Investment (BoI) said many companies from China, Japan, and US are joining the International Headquarters (IHQs) and International Trading Centres (ITCs) program to use Thailand as a hub for AEC trading in the future. The BOI also believes a new tax incentive measure from the Finance Ministry will attract more companies to participate. (Bangkok Biz, 20/4/15)
  • Export recovery expected in Q2 – Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula is more upbeat about economic prospects in the second quarter, saying the economy could grow 4% if exports manage to eke out zero growth or move in a positive range during that period. In his round-up of the government’s six-month performance yesterday, he said he believed exports to China and the EU would strongly recover in the second quarter, helping to shore up overall shipments for the period. First-quarter exports were estimated to contract by 4% due mainly to the bearish performance of major markets such as China, the EU and Japan. “I believe the economy will manage growth of 4% in the second quarter only if shipments can manage zero growth,” he said. (Bangkok Post, 18/4/15)

  • Corporate tax cuts on cards for SEZs – Factories located in special economic zones (SEZs) could see their corporate income tax halved to 10% for 10 years. Government spokesman Yongyuth Maiyalarp said the cabinet yesterday approved the cut, aimed at attracting investment in SEZs and enhancing Thailand’s regional competitiveness. (Bangkok Post, 21/4/15)
  • Commerce Ministry notes six-month achievements – In the first six months of the 2015 fiscal year, the Commerce Ministry helped sell about 3 million tonnes of rice, through auctions and deals with other governments, worth Bt36 billion, Commerce Ministry Chatchai Sarikalya told a news conference yesterday. (The Nation, 21/4/15)
  • Govt sets June deadline for water, road repair deals – The Government has set a June deadline for applications for Bt78 billion in procurement contracts for water-system and road repair projects. Meanwhile, the Public Debt Management Office will invite financial institutions to join the first Bt10-billion round of bidding on loans for the projects this week. (The Nation, 21/4/15)
  • No worries over public debt to GDP – Thailand’s public debt will not exceed half of GDP if economic growth comes in at 3.6% this year, says a senior Finance Ministry official. GDP is the main factor in deciding the public debt ratio this year, as borrowing plans have been fixed, said Theeraj Athanavanich, deputy director-general of the ministry’s Public Debt Management Office (PDMO). The ratio will be 48.9% at the end of fiscal 2015 if growth reaches 3.6% and inflation
    stands at 0.8%, he said. (Bangkok Post, 21/4/15)
  • BOI ramps up approvals of investment – THE Board of Investment is accelerating its support for private investments after approving promotional privileges for 793 projects with combined worth of more than Bt217.56 billion in the first quarter, five times the Bt34.65 billion value of approved projects in the same period of 2014. (The Nation, 22/4/15)
  • NESDB chief has rosy outlook – Though exports are a concern, the government’s planning agency is bullish that Thailand’s economy is set up to rebound, fuelled by recovering private and public investment and household consumption. In his round-up of the six-month performance of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) under the new government, secretary-general Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said he had faith in the country’s gradual economic growth after the government embarked on myriad stimulus packages over the past six months.(Bangkok Post, 22/4/15)
  • Commerce Ministry slashes export growth target to 1% – The Commerce Ministry has succumbed to tepid export prospects, cutting its full-year growth target for shipments to 1% from an earlier 4% forecast. (Bangkok Post, 22/4/15)
  • Long-term measures in focus – The Finance Ministry will concentrate on reforms and tax measures in the next six months but still has more economic stimulus measures up its sleeve.(The Nation, 23/4/15)
  • Slow recovery better than pre-coup stall – The Thai economic recovery is gaining momentum but at a slow pace, Finance Minister Sommai Phasee said yesterday. But he said a slowdown was still better than during the pre-coup political tension, when the economy ground to a halt.(Bangkok Post, 23/4/15)
  • Pridiyathorn explains long-term economic reforms to Moody’s – Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula explained plans to enhance the Thai economic competitiveness to Moody’s Investors Service officials during their meeting on Thursday. (The Nation, 23/4/15)
  • Half of budget spent in first half – Rungson Sriworasat, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance, announced that government expenditure in the first half of FY2015 (Oct-April) was Bt1.4trn, 55.8% of the full year budget of Bt2.6trn. This was made up of Bt1.3trn from regular expenses (60% of the Bt2.1trn budget) and investment of Bt2bn (33.9% of the Bt4bn budget). (IQ Biz, 23/4/15)


  • G20 “deeply disappointed” by U.S. impasse on IMF reform – The Group of 20 (G20) economies on Friday blasted the United States for stalling the governance reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). G20 finance ministers and central bank governors said in a communique after a two-day meeting that they remained “deeply disappointed” by the continued delay in implementing the 2010 IMF quota reform. (Xinhua, 18/4/15)
  • U.S. consumer sentiment rises in April – U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April, a survey released on Friday showed. The University of Michigan’s preliminary April reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 95.9, up from the final March read of 93.0. Analysts were looking for a reading of 94.0. (Reuters, 17/4/15)
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. The index for all items, less food and energy, rose 0.2 percent in March, the same increase as in January and February. (Xinhua, 18/4/15)
  • ECB’s Draghi Rejects Talk of Greek Euro Exit – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Saturday rejected speculation that Greece may be forced to abandon the euro, reiterating that Europe’s single currency is irrevocable. (WSJ, 18/4/15)
  • British unemployment rate drops to 5.6 pct in Feb. – British unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in the three-month to February 2015, lower than the 5. 7 percent of the three-month to January 2015, recording the lowest level since mid-2008, data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show on Friday. (Xinhua, 17/4/15)
  • China cuts RRR by one percentage point to bolster growth – China’s central bank on Sunday decided to lower the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), the minimum level of reserves banks must hold, by one percentage point effective from Monday. The move aims to “boost structural adjustment,” the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said, adding it will give an additional one percentage-point RRR cut to banks engaged in lending to small firms, the farming sector and
    major water projects. (Xinhua, 20/4/15)
  • China’s logistics revenue surges in 2014 – The revenue of China’s logistics sector rose 6.9 percent year on year in 2014, driven by the online retail sales boom, new data showed on Friday. The total revenue of the sector topped 7.1 trillion yuan (1.16 trillion U.S. dollars) last year, according to a joint statement by the National Development and Reform Commission, the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. (Xinhua, 17/4/15)
  • Japan consumer confidence improves 4th straight month in March – Japanese consumer confidence in March improved for a fourth straight month, a Cabinet Office survey showed on Friday. The survey’s sentiment index for general households, which includes views on incomes and jobs, was at 41.7 in March, up from a revised 40.9 in February. (The Economic Times, 16/4/15)
  • U.S. Fed takes global effects of central bank rate hike seriously – U.S. Federal Reserve takes the potential international implications of the central bank’s monetary policies seriously, as the international effects of Fed polices can spill back onto the U.S. economy and financial markets, said a top Fed official on Monday. (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index Signals Slower Growth – The Chicago Fed National Activity Index moved down to -0.42 in March from February’s -0.18. Any reading below zero indicates growth below historic norms. (Nasdaq, 20/4/15)
  • ECB’s Constancio: Greece Will Stay in the Eurozone – The vice president of the European Central Bank said Monday that he is convinced Greece will remain in the eurozone, attempting to douse concerns that the troubled country would leave the currency bloc. (WSJ, 20/4/15)
  • Eurozone construction production down by 1.8 pct in February – Seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector fell by 1.8 percent in the eurozone and by 1.2 percent in the 28-nation European Union (EU) in February, compared with the previous month, the EU statistics office Eurostat said Monday. (Xinhua, 20/4/15)
  • BOJ’s Kuroda Sees Progress on Higher Inflation – The Bank of Japan’s leader said his institution is making real progress in its efforts to raise Japanese inflation back toward desired levels. (Nasdaq, 19/4/15)
  • U.S. Retail Sales Rise in 1st Two Weeks of April From March – National chain-store sales edged up 0.1% in the first two weeks of April from the comparable period in March, according to Redbook Research’s latest indicator, released Tuesday. The index’s increase compared with a target for growth of 0.8%. (Nasdaq, 21/4/15)
  • British forecaster estimates 2.8 pct growth for Britain in 2015 – Britain’s economy will expand by 2. 8 percent in 2015 despite the “political uncertainty mounting” over the general election, said the EY Item Club in a report on Monday. The London-based economic forecaster also expects British gross domestic product (GDP) will grow to 3.0 percent in 2016. (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • German investors’ confidence falls unexpectedly in April – The confidence of German investors fell unexpectedly in April after rising for five months in a row, a survey found on Tuesday. An indicator measuring investors’ expectation for German economic performance in the next six months fell slightly in April, said Mannheim-based Center for European Economic Research (ZEW). (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • China’s auto sales expected to exceed 25 mln units in 2015 – China’s auto sales are expected to exceed 25 million units in 2015, said Dong Yang, vice president of China Association of Automobile Manufactures (CAAM), on Tuesday. (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • China’s electronics, IT manufacturing Jan.-Feb. profit up 39.1 pct on yr – China’s electronics and IT manufacturing enterprises saw their profits total 41.9 billion yuan in the first two months of 2015, up 39.1 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Monday. (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • China’s real estate land use drops amid property downturn – China’s land area used in real estate development fell sharply in the first quarter as the chilling house market sees cooled land sales, official data showed on Tuesday. New home construction used 24,700 hectares of land in Q1, plummeting 38.7 percent year on year, the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources said in a monitoring report. (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • U.S. existing home sales surge in March – Existing home sales jumped in March to their highest annual rate in 18 months, a sign the housing market is shaking off harsh winter impact and gaining new momentum. Total existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co- ops, increased 6.1 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March, the highest rate since September 2013, said the National Association of Realtors ( NAR) on Wednesday.(Reuters, 22/4/15)
  • Mortgage applications rose in latest week – 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 2.3 percent in the week ended April 17. The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 0.6 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 5.0 percent to its highest level since June 2013. (Reuters, 22/4/15)
  • Bank of England upbeat on euro zone, eyes inflation pressures – Bank of England policymakers struck a more bullish tone on the euro zone and the prospects for higher inflation in their latest set of policy minutes on Wednesday, pushing sterling higher, though a rate rise still appears some way off. (Reuters, 22/4/15)
  • Eurozone, EU gov’t deficit falls in 2014 – The government deficit of both the euro zone and the 28-nation European Union (EU) decreased in 2014, compared with the previous year, while government debt rose in both zones, the statistical office of the EU Eurostat said Tuesday. In the euro area, the government deficit to GDP ratio decreased from 2.9 percent in 2013 to 2.4 percent in 2014, while it fell from 3.2 percent to 2.9 percent in the EU. (Xinhua, 21/4/15)
  • Greece needs to work harder toward bailout agreement – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was critical of Greece’s willingness to negotiate a solution to its debt crisis during a visit to Vienna Tuesday. Juncker reiterated his stance of ruling out a Greek exit from the eurozone, but said greater efforts are required in order to be able to conclude talks with the EU.(Xinhua, 22/4/15)
  • China: More RRR cuts possible in the future – There is still room for more monetary easing policies, especially reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts, in the coming months, a central bank official said Wednesday. Chen Yulu, member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said during an online interview that there was plenty of room for more RRR cuts, citing continuing deflationary risks as an influencing factor. (Xinhua, 22/4/15)
  • Japan records first trade surplus since 2012 – Japan has recorded its first trade surplus in three years after the weaker yen boosted exports and cheaper oil prices lowered its import bill.The trade balance came in at 229.3bn yen ($1.9bn; £1.3bn) in March, beating market expectations for a surplus of 44.6bn yen. (BBC, 22/4/15)
    U.S. initial jobless claims record slight increase – The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid last week increased a little bit, but the whole job market kept upward. Inthe week ending April 18, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits rose to 295,000, 1,000 more than the revised level of the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. (Xinhua, 23/4/15)
  • U.S. new home sales fall in March from 7-year high – Sales of U.S. new homes plunged in March from a seven-year high, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The sales of new single-family houses in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, 11.4 percent below the revised February rate. The Commerce Department revised the February reading up to 543,000, the highest since February 2008. (Xinhua, 23/4/15)
  • U.S. Markit flash PMI falls to 54.2 in April – The flash reading of the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index fell in April to 54.2 from 55.7 in March. (Market Watch, 23/4/15)
  • Eurozone manufacturing PMI falls to two-month low – The eurozone’s manufacturing sector has had a lacklustre start to the second quarter, according to a widely-regarded survey of activity. An initial or “flash” reading of the eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, produced by data group Markit, has dipped to 51.9 for April from 52.2 in March. (Financial Times, 23/4/15)
  • Seasonally adjusted government deficit up to 2.4% of GDP in the euro area – In the fourth quarter of 2014, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit2 to GDP ratio stood at 2.4% in the euro area (EA19), an increase compared with 2.2% in the third quarter of 2014. In the EU283, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 2.6%, a decrease compared with 2.8% in the previous quarter, according to EU. (The Financial, 23/4/15)
  • Greece admits cash shortfall, domestic borrowing – The Greek government admits it has a cash shortfall and its transfer of cash reserves from local government and other public entities was “domestic borrowing” to cover immediate financing needs. (Xinhua, 22/4/15)
  • Japan’s FY 2014 domestic auto output down for 1st time in 5 years – The combined domestic production of Toyota Motor Corp. and seven other Japanese carmakers fell 3.7 percent year-on-year to 9,031,944 units in fiscal 2014, down for the first time in five years, data released by the companies showed Thursday. (Kyodo News, 23/4/15)

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