1. Fiscal Policy office expects Thai 4Q17 GDP to grow more than +4.0%. For 2018 GDP, it expects the growth to be +4.2%. The thing to be concerned most is strong THB with +3.35%YTD stronger. Exporters are recommended to watch it closely. (CNBC, 19/2/18)
  2. GDP up 4.0% in Q4 of 2017. The economy expanded by 4.0% in the last quarter of 2017 and should rise by 3.6-4.6% this year, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). Gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter resulted from growing consumption and investment in the private sector as well as rising exports, NESDB secretary-general Porametee Vimolsiri said on Monday. (Bangkok Post, 20/2/18)
  3. Thai January exports jump 17.6 pct y/y, beat forecast. Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports rose at their fastest pace in more than five years in January, widely beating forecasts, thanks to strong global demand. Exports, a key driver of Thailand’s growth, jumped 17.6 percent in January from a year earlier after rising 8.6 percent in December, commerce ministry data showed on Wednesday. (Reuters, 22/2/18)
  4. Thai January car sales jump 16.2 pct y/y – federation. Thailand’s domestic car sales rose 16.2 percent in January from a year earlier to 66,513 cars, helped by an economic recovery, improving consumer confidence and launches of new car models, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said on Wednesday. (Reuters, 22/2/18
  5. Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob says Thailand’s policy rate needn’t immediately play catch-up with the benchmark rate hiked by its US counterpart, as each country has different economic fundamentals and domestic factors will play a large role in the Monetary Policy Committee’s rate decision. (Bangkok Post, 23/2/18)
  6. Fed’s Quarles pushes for gradual rate hikes, review of crisis-era bank regulations. Fed Governor Randal Quarles said Thursday that inflation running a little below target shouldn’t stand in the way of rate increases. With the central bank expected to hike at least three times this year, the newest Fed member said he supports a continual gradual pace of increases. The Fed shoots for a 2 percent inflation rate that it believes represents an equilibrium growth level. The personal consumption expenditures index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, ran at 1.7 percent in 2017 including food and energy and 1.5 percent otherwise. (CNBC, 22/2/18)
  7. Fed should raise rates gradually this year, Kaplan says. The Federal Reserve should continue to raise U.S. interest rates this year in response to faster economic growth fueled by recent tax cuts as well as a stronger global economy, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said on Wednesday. (CNBC, 22/2/18)
  8. Fed’s Harker expects two US rate hikes this year. Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker on Wednesday said he still thinks just two interest-rate hikes this year is “likely appropriate,” but signaled he is open to more if needed. (CNBC, 22/2/18)
  9. U.S. flash manufacturing PMI index rises in February. Manufacturers in the U.S. recorded a solid upturn in business conditions in February, which continued the positive trend witnessed at the beginning of this year. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash manufacturing PMI rose to 55.9 from 55.5, indicating towards the most rapid improvement in overall business conditions since October 2014. (Econo Times, 22/2/18)
  10. US housing starts total 1.326 million in Jan, vs 1.234 million starts expected. New home construction increased to more than a one-year high in January, boosted by a rebound in the building of single-family housing units, and further gains are likely as building permits soared to their highest level since 2007. Housing starts jumped 9.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.326 million units, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was the highest level since October 2016 and followed an upwardly revised sales pace of 1.209 million units . (CNBC, 19/2/18)

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