• New BoI board — The PM has signed off on the new set of BoI board members, following the Ministry of Industry proposal submitted to the cabinet on 22 April. (Post Today, 24/04/14)
  • MPC leaves rate alone – The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left its policy interest rate unchanged yesterday but warned first quarter economic growth could contract and full-year growth come in weaker than forecast as prolonged political strife takes a toll on private investment and tourism. (Krungtep Thrurakit, 24/04/14)
    No rise in VAT soon — The Revenue Dept assures that the VAT will not return to 10% and the cabinet is likely to decide to leave it at 7% in May. (Krungtep Thurakit, 25/04/14)
  • Almost all labourers deep in debt; Future income, rising living expenses, job security top concerns this year: UTCC – Up to 93.7% of Thai labourers admit that they are heavily in debt, amid signs of rising unemployment if the country’s political stand-off prolongs into the second half of the year, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC). (The Nation, 25/04/14)

  • Ministry of Finance likely to cut exports target in June — The previous target of 5% is likely to be missed, after disappointment in the first three months of the year. The main cause for the slowdown in exports is believed to be due to a slowdown in China. (Daily News, 25/04/14)
    Thailand to keep top spot — The new head of Thailand Automotive Institute says Thailand will keep its top spot for auto production in Asia this year. He said that in 2014 Thailand will see a 10% drop in auto production to around 2.35mn units, however he is confident that 3mn units per annum could be reached in 3 years. (Thai Post, 25/04/14)
  •  Delay in election worrisome — Cabinet economists warn that a delay in the election would have material effect on the already woeful economy and could push 2014 GDP into a contraction. The budget department said the quickest the government could start using the FY2014 budget is April. (Krungtep Thrurakit, 23/04/14)
  • Revenue Department has faith government will find funds for first-car scheme. The department needs more funds to continue to pay out for the last few month of first car subsidy scheme. Finance vice-minister said that he will ask the cabinet for an emergency loan of Bt8bn to help pay off the scheme. (Matichon, 23/04/14)
  • Ministry of Commerce has now adopted WTO standards when it comes to hiring and contracting private entities. The came as a result of a two years plan to improve the flexibility and efficiency of the process. (ASTV Manager, 23/04/14)
  • BAAC walks hat in hand, Hopes for Bt10bn from local organizations – The caretaker government is again desperately seeking fresh funds to pay its overdue debt to rice farmers, as Bt2-3bn of the Bt20bn budget plus income from recent rice sales is expected to be paid out in the coming days. (The Bangkok Post, 22/04/14)


  • US: New orders for manufactured durable goods in March rose 2.6% to US$234.8bn, the U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday. The fresh figure beat market expectations. Moreover, the number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits last week added 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000, said the Labor Department. (Xinhua, 25/04/14)
  • Federal Reserve on course for further US$10bn taper – The US Federal Reserve is highly likely to slow its asset purchases by another US$10bn next week as the economy shakes off its winter torpor. Retail sales, industrial production and payrolls growth were all robust in recent weeks, adding to evidence of accelerating growth, after a cold winter led to fears for the economic outlook. (The Financial Times, 25/04/14)
  • US: U.S. manufacturers indicated a strong start to the second quarter of 2014, with the Markit Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index standing at 55.4 in April, edging down fractionally from 55.5 in March, but still well above the neutral 50.0 value. (Xinhua, 23/04/14)
  • U.S. crude inventories rose 3.5 million barrels to 397.7 million barrels for the week ended April 11, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, reaching the highest level in 83 years. (Xinhua, 23/04/14)
  • New home sales continue to drop in U.S. – Home sales dropped 14.5% from the revised February rate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, the lowest since July 2013. Sales were down 13.3% from a year earlier. (Xinhua, 23/04/14)
  • US: U.S. house prices rose in February, with an increase of 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index, beating market expectations. U.S. existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59mn in March, the slowest since July 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. But the number still surpassed market consensus. (Xinhua, 23/04/14)
  • German economist optimistic of economic boom – The Ifo Business Climate Index for industry and trade in Germany rose in April to 111.2 points from 110.7 points last month, the Ifo institute announced on Thursday. (Xinhua, 04/04/14)
  • Europe: Eurozone Composite PMI nears 3-year high in April: Markit – The flash Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index increased to 54.O in April 2014, up from 53.1 in March, marking the highest increase since May 2011, said Markit Wednesday. (Xinhua, 23/04/14)
  • German Finance Ministry: Economy “very strong” in Q1 – Recent data suggests that Germany’s economy enjoyed a “very strong” Q1, the Finance Ministry says, with an unusually mild winter helping to drive industrial expansion and construction activity. As a result, the economy is likely to moderate in Q2, the ministry says, although “this technical effect should not be interpreted as a sign that the economic pace is slowing.” (Seeking Alpha, 22/04/14)
  • China cuts RRR for rural financial institutions – China’s central bank said Tuesday that it will cut the reserve requirement ratio for county-level rural commercial banks by 2 percentage points and that for rural credit cooperative unions by 0.5 percentage point, starting Friday. (Xinhua, 22/04/14)
  • China: China’s manufacturing still weakening, but at slower pace –  The HSBC/Markit China flash manufacturing PMI for April rose to 48.3 from a final reading of 48.0 in March, said data company Markit in a statement. (Xinhua, 23/04/14)
  • FY 2013 supermarket sales in Japan post 1st rise in 17 years – Japan’s supermarket sales in fiscal 2013, which ended last month, rose 0.8% from the previous year on a same-store basis for the first increase in 17 years, an industry body said Monday. (Kyodo, 21/04/14)
  • S.Korean economy grows 0.9% in Q1 – South Korean economy grew 0.9% in the first quarter from three months earlier, recording the identical growth with the prior quarter, central bank data showed Thursday. (Xinhua, 04/04/14)
  • Japan, China, S. Korea investment pact to take effect May 17 – The trilateral pact, the first such legal framework involving the three East Asian countries in the economic field, will take effect now that China has informed Japan that its internal procedures have been completed, according to a ministry official. (Kyodo, 19/04/14)
  • IMF Says South Korea won undervalued – The International Monetary Fund said South Korea’s won currency could be up to 8% undervalued and urged authorities to refrain from intervening in currency markets. (WSJ, 19/04/14)
  • China moves to regulate risks in trust sector – China’s banking regulator has asked trust companies to strengthen risk management, underlining the responsibility of shareholders and forbidding shadow banking business. (Xinhua, 19/04/14)

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