• Ministry of Transportation to propose a Bt340bn increase in 2018 budget to the cabinet next week in order to fund megaprojects, i.e. two motorways and four airport improvement projects which include the development of 28 provincial airports. (Matichon, 2/5/17)
  • Consumer prices up for 13th month. Consumer prices, which gauge the country’s inflation rate, rose for a 13th straight month in April, albeit at a slower pace, boosted largely by higher oil and finished food prices. The Commerce Ministry said the consumer price index (CPI), based on 422 products and services, rose 0.38% last month year-on-year but eased from 0.76% in March, 1.44% in February and 1.55% in January. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.16% from March on higher costs for food, transport, communications, education and housing. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, edged up 0.5% year-on-year in April and 0.02% from March. (Bangkok Post, 2/5/17)
  • 30 firms marked for EEC investment. The government aims to attract 30 leading multinational firms to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which is a designated to serve as Thailand’s new growth engine with high-tech and innovative clusters, over the next two years. (Bangkok Post, 02/05/17)
  • Two more MRT lines to go to Cabinet. Ministry of Transport plans to ask cabinet approval on May 9 for two MRT lines: the Yellow Line (30.4km) valued at Bt52bn, and the Pink Line (34.5km) valued at Bt54bn. (Post Today, 03/05/17)
  • ERC plans to open bidding for 8MW in biomass power plants in three provinces in the south. It also plans to open bids for 219MW for phase 2 in solar farms at government and cooperative units. (Kao Hoon, 03/05/17)

  • U.S. Economy Grew 0.7% in First Quarter, Slowest in Three Years. The U.S. economy expanded at the slowest pace in three years as weak auto sales and lower home-heating bills dragged down consumer spending, offsetting a pickup in investment led by housing and oil drilling. Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 0.7 percent annualized rate after advancing 2.1 percent in the prior quarter, Commerce Department data showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1 percent gain. Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, rose 0.3 percent, the worst performance since 2009. (Bloomberg, 2/5/17)
  • China April manufacturing growth slows faster than expected. Growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed faster than expected in April, an official survey showed on Sunday, as producer price inflation cooled and policymakers’ efforts to reduce financial risks in the economy weighed on demand. The National Bureau of Statistics’ official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a six-month low of 51.2 in April from March’s near five-year high of 51.8. (Reuters, 2/5/17)
  • China official nonmanufacturing PMI falls in April. China’s official nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index, a measure of activity outside factory gates, fell to 54.0 in April from 55.1 in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday . (Marketwatch, 2/5/17)
  • UK economy grows by 0.3% as service sector slows. The UK economy grew by just 0.3% at the start of the year, the slowest growth rate since the first three months of 2016, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics said that the slower pace in the January-toMarch period was due mainly to the service sector, which sank to 0.3% growth against 0.8% at the end of 2016. (BBC, 3/5/17)
  • Fed holds rate steady, notes slower economic growth. The Federal Reserve voted Wednesday not to raise its key interest rate, as central bank officials expressed concern with the pace of economic growth. In a move largely expected in financial markets, the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee unanimously agreed to keep its benchmark rate target at 0.75 percent to 1 percent. The rate is used as a guide for a variety of consumer debt instruments such as credit cards and adjustable-rate loans. (CNBC, 4/5/17)

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