1. Coronation day for King set for May 4-6. The coronation ceremony for His Majesty the King will be held during May 4-6, the Royal Household Bureau announced on Tuesday. (Bangkok Post, 01/01/19)
  2. Cost of firing staff cited as a ‘burden’. The high cost of severance pay given to employees is a financial burden on the business sector, according to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB). (Bangkok Post, 01/01/19)
  3. BoT signals gradual tightening. The Monetary Policy Committee expects any future policy tightening would be gradual after the central bank’s first-rate hike since 2011 in December, minutes from its last policy meeting showed on Wednesday. The committee viewed that “accommodative monetary policy would remain appropriate in the period ahead, and that the policy rate increase would be gradual and not in a continuous manner as in the past,” the minutes said. (Reuters, 02/01/19)
  4. Inflation reached 4-year high in 2018. Thailand’s annual headline inflation rose to a four-year high in 2018, boosted by energy and house rent, but the rate still moved in the target range set by the government. The Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry reported Wednesday that headline inflation, gauged by the increase in the consumer price index (CPI), was 1.07% for the whole year in 2018, up from 0.66% in 2017, 0.19% in 2016 and -0.9% in 2015. (Bangkok Post, 03/01/19)
  5. BoI: Policies to add B418bn to GDP under 7-year plan. The Board of Investment (BoI) says incentive schemes under the seven-year strategic investment promotion plan (2015-21) are expected to contribute 418 billion baht to GDP. from 0.66% in 2017, 0.19% in 2016 and -0.9% in 2015. (Bangkok Post, 03/01/19)
  6. Government admits election delay. The election date will likely be delayed from Feb 24 to avoid having poll-related activities overlapping with those of the coronation ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Thursday. (Bangkok Post, 04/01/19)
  7. Stronger baht ‘will hurt exporters and farmers’. Most exporters are worried about the baht appreciating against the US dollar, fearing it will hit exports and farm incomes amid the slowing of both local and global economies. (The Nation, 04/01/19) Hunt for yield, fragile property market high on BOT watch list. The Bank of Thailand (BOT) is keeping watch on risks to the financial system posed by factors ranging from investors’ search for yield and fragility in the property market to high household debts and increasingly large swings in capital movements. (The Nation, 04/01/19)
  8. Nod to Brown Line. The Land Traffic Management Committee yesterday approved a plan by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand to build a Brown Lline rail route from Khae Rai to Lam Sali, at a cost of Bt48bn. (The Nation, 4/1/19)
  9. Kim warns N. Korea could consider change of tack. North Korea could consider a change of approach if the United States maintains its sanctions on the nuclear-armed country, leader Kim Jong Un warned in his New Year speech Tuesday after 12 months of diplomatic rapprochement. (AFP, 01/01/19)
  10. Back my Brexit deal and let Britain ‘turn a corner’: UK PM May. British Prime Minister Theresa May urged lawmakers on Monday to back her Brexit deal, promising that it would allow the country to “turn a corner” and let the government focus on solving domestic problems such as housing and a skill shortage. (Reuters, 01/01/19)

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