1. Revenue chief scotches VAT rise talk. THE new chief of the Revenue Department plans to add artificial intelligence (AI) to the agency’s arsenal for tax collection and has dismissed rumours of a planned increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate. (The nation, 01/06/18)
  2. Inflation streaks to highest level in 16 months. Headline inflation in May registered 1.49% on an annual basis, the highest level in 16 months, driven by rising oil prices. Commerce Ministry reported yesterday that the consumer price index (CPI) rose. (Bangkok post, 03/06/18)
  3. Poor economy on top of public complaints: Suan Dusit Poll. by the people, followed by the unending political chaos, social problems and crime, corruption in use of state budgets, and lack of generosity among people in society, according to the result of an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll. (Thai Rath, 3/06/18)
  4. Charter court upholds NCPO’s order on political parties. The Constitutional Court on Tuesday confirmed the constitutionality of the National Council for Peace and Order’s order number 53/2560 (53/2018) amending the political party law and requiring supporters to reconfirm. (Bangkok Post, 05/06/18)
  5. WB raises Thai growth forecast to 4.1 per cent. THE WORLD Bank (WB) has revised up Thailand’s economy growth this year to 4.1 per cent from its previous estimate of 3.6 per cent given the country’s robust performance. The bank has also revised up its forecast of Thailand’s economy in the year 2019 and 2020 to 3.8 per cent for both years, up from its previous estimate of 3.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively. (The Nation, 07/06/18)
  6. National security budget hike gets flak. Critics have taken aim at the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for giving the green light to a 20% increase in the national security budget for the 2019 fiscal year. Some 274 billion baht was spent. (Bangkok Post, 08/06/18)
  7. ISM non-manufacturing index grows in May, expanding for the 100th month. A measure of U.S. non- manufacturing industries grew to 58.6 in May, beating estimates. US non-manufacturing industries have seen 100 straight months of expansion. Concerns for future growth lie in escalating tariffs and trade talks. (CNBC, 06/06/18)
  8. Trump contemplating separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico instead of NAFTA fix, says economic advisor Kudlow. Trump’s “preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately,” White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow tells Fox. “I think the important thought here is he may be moving quickly towards these bilateral discussions instead of as a whole,” Kudlow says. On Friday, Trump said he “wouldn’t mind” separate negotiations with the two countries. (CNBC, 05/06/18)
  9. Global economy to expand by 3.1% in 2018, says World Bank. Despite recent softening, global economic growth will remain robust at 3.1 per cent in 2018 before slowing gradually over the next two years, as advanced-economy growth decelerates and the recovery in major commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies levels off, the World Bank said on Tuesday. (The Nation, 06/06/18)
  10. Tourism dollars flow between S Korean and Asean. TOURISM investment between the Asean countries and South Korea is expected to see further increases after South Koreans boosted their direct investments in the region’s hospitality sector at a double-digit growth rate last year. By the end of 2017, South Korea investors had expanded their investments in hotels and restaurants in Asean countries to US$5 million, up 92 per cent from the US$2.6 million recorded in 2015. (The Nation, 08/06/18)

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