1. JSCCIB maintains 2018 economic, export forecasts as growth momentum continues. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has maintained its forecast of Thailand’s economic growth at between 3.8 per cent and 4.5 per cent for this year, with export growth still predicted to come in at 3.5 per cent to 6 per cent. (The Nation, 7/3/18)
  2. China sets 2018 GDP growth target at around 6.5 pct. China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent for 2018, unchanged from that for 2017, according to a government work report released Monday. Given China’s economic fundamentals and capacity for job creation, GDP growth of around 6.5 percent will enable China to achieve relatively full employment, according to the report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang Monday morning at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature. (Xinhua, 6/3/18)
  3. China Feb services growth eases slightly but still robust: Caixin PMI. Growth in China’s services sector softened slightly in February but remained robust, prompting companies to hire more workers for the 18th month in a row, a private business survey showed. The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 54.2 in February from January’s 68-month high of 54.7, but was still above recent trends and well above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction. (Reuters, 6/3/18)
  4. EU considers 25% tariffs on US steel, T-shirts, jeans. The European Union aims to target €2.8 billion ($3.5bn) of US goods ranging from T-shirts to motorcycles and ladders should President Donald Trump go ahead with his plan to impose a 25 per cent tariff on foreign steel, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. (The National, 7/3/18)
  5. BOJ May Be Thinking But Not Doing Exit in 2019, Kuroda Says. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda made clear on Tuesday that while the Bank of Japan may find itself thinking about exiting monetary stimulus in the 2019 fiscal year, this doesn’t mean it will actually be doing it then. (Bloomberg, 7/3/18)
  6. Gary Cohn resigns as Trump’s top economic advisor. White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has resigned from President Donald Trump’s administration. The former Goldman Sachs president and free trade advocate Cohn, whose departure date will come in a few weeks, decided to quit after Trump announced he would impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. (CNBC, 7/3/18)
  7. Fed’s Kaplan: Rate hikes are necessary as the US nears full employment. Raising interest rates now gives the U.S. the best chance to keep pushing the economy forward, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Tuesday. In that light, Kaplan said he favors three rate hikes this year, a sentiment reflected in markets that nevertheless have been wary that the central bank may get more aggressive should the improving economy start generating more noticeable inflation. “It’s three for this year. I think we should get started sooner rather than later, though,” he said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” (CNBC, 7/3/18)
  8. 11 countries sign TPP trade pact without the United States. President Trump is going one way on trade. The world is going very hard in the other direction. Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum Thursday only a couple hours after 11 nations signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade agreement that was once thought to be dead after Trump withdrew the United States from talks. Leaders from Mexico, Canada, Japan and other nations officially signed TPP on Thursday at a ceremony in Santiago, Chile. (CNN, 9/3/18)
  9. US weekly jobless claims bounce back from 48-year low. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded last week from a more than 48-year low, but the trend continued to point to robust labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 231,000 for the week ended March 3. Claims dropped to 210,000 in the prior week, which was the lowest level since December 1969. (CNN, 9/3/18)
  10. Hammond: UK could reject any Brexit deal excluding financial services. Philip Hammond has put Britain on a fresh collision course with Brussels after he warned the government could reject any Brexit trade deal not including financial services. Speaking in Canary Wharf at the headquarters of HSBC on Wednesday afternoon, the chancellor said a trade deal would only happen if it balanced the interests of both the UK and the EU. (The Guardian, 9/3/18)

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