1. BOT admits inflation in 2018 might be higher than it expects as crude oil price is rising continuously. Analysts point out crude oil price has risen by 10% which will lead inflation to rise and central banks may raise interest rate to cope up with inflation. ( Krungthep Turakit , 22/1/18)
  2. Ministry of Finance says it is looking for a new policy to handle the steady strengthening in the baht in order to control the impact on Thai exports and economic expansion. It told the PDMO to hasten to pay back foreign debt before the due date; however, the proportion of foreign debt is currently low as most debt is domestic because of high liquidity. (Daily N ews, 22/1/18)
  3. Exports rise 9.9% to six-year high. Thailand finished last year with export growth of 9.9%, the highest in six years, propelled by higher purchases from key trading partners, especially the US, EU, Asean and China. The Commerce Ministry reported Monday that the country’s whole-year shipments totalled US$237 billion (7.5 trillion baht). By contrast, exports in 2016 rose only 0.50% year-on-year. Imports last year jumped 14.7% to $223 billion, giving the country a trade surplus of copy3.9 billion. (Bangkok Post, 23/1/18
  4. Minimum wage rethink urged. Business group warns of threats to SMEs. A group of business leaders yesterday called on the government to review the daily minimum wage hikes recently approved by the tripartite national wage committee, saying they will hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), farms and the service sector. (Bangkok Post, 24/1/18)
  5. TDRI warns of soaring Bt1.4-tn annual healthcare. THAILAND’S ageing society will push the country’s healthcare costs to Bt1.4 trillion per year within the next 15 years, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) warned yesterday. (The Nation, 24/1/18)
  6. Thai Dec car sales jump 20.1 pct y/y – federation. Thailand’s domestic car sales jumped 20.1 percent in December from a year earlier to 104,302 units, their highest level in four years, helped by motor shows, improving consumer confidence and the country’s economic recovery, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said on Wednesda y. Domestic car sales were 871,650 vehicles in 2017, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier, the first annual increase in five years. (Reuters, 25/1/18)
  7. U.S. crude stocks drop, led by record outflow from Cushing hub: EIA. U.S. crude oil stocks fell for a ninth straight week, led by a record drawdown at the U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday. Crude inventories fell 6.9 million barrels in the week to Jan. 12, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 3.5 million barrels.
  8. IMF Says Global Growth Picking Up as U.S. Tax Cuts Take Hold. The International Monetary Fund warned policymakers to be on guard for the next recession even as it predicted global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts spur businesses to invest. The fund raised its forecast for world expansion to 3.9 percent this year and next, up 0.2 percentage point both years from its projection in October. That would be the fastest rate since 2011, when the world was bouncing back from the financial crisis. (Bloomberg, 23/1/18)
  9. ECB Keeps Policy Unchanged as Euro Gains Risk Curbing Inflation. The European Central Bank maintained its pledge to move slowly in removing euro-area stimulus, setting the stage for President Mario Draghi to face questions on the strength of the single currency. (Bloomberg, 26/1/16)
  10. The Bank of Japan holds monetary policy steady. The Bank of Japan announced Tuesday it was keeping its monetary policy steady, a move that was in line with market expectations. In a statement released following the conclusion of its two-day meeting, the BOJ said it would keep the short-term policy rate unchanged at negative 0.1 percent and the 10-year yield target around 0 percent. The decision to keep policy unchanged was made following an 8-1 majority vote. (CNBC, 24/1/18)

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