1. Department of Airports to ask the Minister of Transportation to open three airport expansions for PPP: Buriram, Petchabun, and Korat in April. The projects will be open for auction around the beginning of 2019. (Khao Sod, 2/4/18)
  2. Thai March headline CPI rises 0.79pct y/y, below forecast. Thailand’s annual headline inflation rate rose in March, but missed forecasts and was below the central bank’s target range, giving policymakers leeway to keep monetary policy loose to help economic growth. The headline consumer price index rose 0.79 percent in March from a year earlier, after February’s 0.42 percent increase, commerce ministry data showed on Monday. A Reuters poll projected a rise of 0.90 percent in March. In the January-March period, the index rose 0.64 percent from a year earlier. (Reuters, 2/4/18)
  3. Outlook firm for 4% economic growth. WIDESPREAD expectations for the economy to grow by at least 4 per cent this year have been corroborated by the view of a research house that points to improving external demand and recovering investment. The tourism and export sectors will continue to be the main growth drivers of the economy this year thanks to strong fundamentals of the global economy, the SCB Economic Intelligence Centre (EIC) said in a report. It forecasts 4 per cent growth in gross domestic product from the previous year. (The Nation, 2/4/18)
  4. NBTC to propose framework of 1800 MHz auction based on previous licenses. This bars JAS from the auction. This clause will be considered by the NBTC board on April 11. TRUE will be paying another installment for 900MHz of Bt4.3bn. (Khao Hoon, 3/4/18)
  5. Industrialists rosy on growth. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) is optimistic about the country’s economic outlook in 2018 after witnessing better sentiment over the first two months of the year. The committee increased the group’s 2018 GDP projection from growth of 3.8-4.5% to 4.0-4.5%. (Bangkok Post, 4/4/18)
  6. Ministry of Finance asks BOT to tell commercial banks to decease lending interest rates. This is in response to the large gap between interest applied to large companies (1-2%) and that for small companies (6-7%), making the small ones unable to compete due to higher cost. (Prachachart, 5/4/18)
  7. Eurozone unemployment falls, strengthening recovery. The EU’s official statistics agency said the jobless rate in the single currency area fell to 8.5 per cent in February, down from 8.6 per cent in January. Eurostat said inflation in the eurozone jumped to 1.4 per cent in March, a leap from February’s 1.1 per cent. That edges inflation closer to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) target although it is still a way off the desired 2.0 percent. (Business Times, 5/4/18)
  8. China announces it’s imposing new tariffs on 128 US products. China is implementing new tariffs on meat, fruit and other products from the U.S. as retaliation for American duties, heightening fears of a potential trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Beijing’s latest move, announced by its finance ministry in a statement dated April 1, is direct retaliation against taxes approved by President Donald Trump on imported steel and aluminum. Chinese officials had been warning over the last few weeks that their country would take action against the U.S. (CNBC, 2/4/18)
  9. China March official services PMI edges up to 54.6. Growth in China’s services industry picked up in March, an official survey showed on Saturday, reinforcing views that the world’s second-largest economy got off to a surprisingly strong start to the year. The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.6 from 54.4 in February, which was a four-month low. The services sector accounts for over half of China’s economy, with rising wages giving Chinese consumers more spending power. (Reuters, 2/4/18)
  10. NY Fed publishes first SOFR rate at 1.80 pct. The New York Federal Reserve on Tuesday published the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) for the first time, a rate that regulators hope will over time be used in more derivatives contracts as an alternative to the London interbank offered rate (Libor). The rate set at 1.80 percent. SOFR is based on the overnight Treasury repurchase agreement market, which trades around $800 billion in volume daily. (Reuters, 4/4/18)

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