1. Higher growth seen for final quarter of the year. Pisit Puapan, director of the Bureau of Macroeconomic Policy under the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) and the FPO’s deputy spokesman, said the economy is expected to further expand at a growth rate of 3.3 per cent during the quarter as domestic demands grow while exports remain steady and the number of foreign tourists increase. (The Nation, 27/12/18)
  2. Price controls may be placed on soaring medical costs. The Commerce Ministry is considering putting medicine and medical treatment on the list of controlled goods and services amid concerns over the high cost of private medical care. (Bangkok Post, 26/12/18)
  3. Production index peaks. The Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) for November rose by 0.98% to 116.57 points, the highest in 66 months, the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) reported on Monday. The OIE said the growth of MPI was driven by the local car market which showed double-digit growth over the first 11 months of the year. The market grew 20% this year. (Bangkok Post, 25/12/18)
  4. Exports down on trade war. The value of exports fell 0.95%YoY in November to US$21.24bn on the China-United States trade war and lower supply-chain exports to China, resulting in a 1.17 billion trade deficit. Announcing the figures on Friday, the Commerce Ministry also reported that imports increased by 14.66%YoY to US$22.41bn last month. (Bangkok Post, 21/12/18)
  5. Thousands scramble to apply for ‘One Million House’ loans. Several thousand people nationwide on Sunday scrambled to secure rights to buy new homes under the government’s “One Million House” campaign, a one-day-only loan offer, which saw demand outstrip its credit line by Bt50bn. (Bangkok Post, 24/12/18)
  6. U.S.-China Trade Talks to Take Place in Beijing in Early Jan. A U.S. government delegation will travel to Beijing in the week of Jan. 7 to hold trade talks with Chinese officials, two people familiar with the matter said. (Bloomberg, 27/12/18)
  7. China Cuts Tariffs on More Than 700 Goods Amid Open-Trade Drive. China announced another round of tariff cuts, lowering import taxes on more than 700 goods from Jan. 1 as part of its efforts to open up the economy and lower costs for domestic consumers. (Bloomberg, 24/12/18)
  8. China imports zero U.S. soybeans in November for first time since trade war started. China’s soybean imports from the United States plunged to zero in November, marking the first time since the trade war between the world’s two largest economies started that China, the world’s largest soybean buyer, has imported no U.S. supplies. (Reuters, 24/12/18)
  9. US government shutdown begins. A partial shutdown of the US government took hold early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to start erecting his cherished Mexican border wall. (Bangkok Post, 22/12/18)
  10. China plans major stimulus as trade war bites. The Chinese leadership has decided to carry out large-scale fiscal stimulus measures in 2019, state-run media said on Friday, amid growing fears that a prolonged trade dispute with the United States is likely to stifle economic growth further. (Kyodo News, 21/12/18)

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