Here is the biggest WTF, with every government budget, the Ministry of Education has for the past … decade or so received the highest budget (or near the top) amongst all the government departments and yet the education levels here are still incredibly low when compared to the … well virtually any other country. Doesn’t quite help w/ the military deciding to change some parts of the history books or including extra hours for students to be brainwashed, sorry nationalistic.

  • Apisak sees at least 3% growth this year — Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong believes the economy will expand at least 3% this year, though the Bank of Thailand was recently alarmed over rising downside risks to growth. (CNBC, 14/5/16)
  • Economy buoyed by robust tourism growth – Thailand’s GDP growth hit a three-year high of 3.2% in the first quarter, thanks to government stimulus measures and rapid improvement in the tourism sector, says the country’s economic think tank. (Bangkok Post, 17/5/16)
  • Cabinet nods to 2017 expenditure budget – Director of the Bureau of the Budget Somsak Chotrattanasiri reported that the Cabinet has agreed to set the expenditure budget for fiscal year 2017 at 2.73 trillion baht while projecting revenue of 2.34 trillion baht and a budget deficit of 390 billion baht. According to the budget allocation plan, the Ministry of Education secures the highest budget at 519.29 billion baht. Another 398.95 billion baht is set aside as the central budget, decreasing by 56.43 billion baht from the current fiscal year. (NNT, 16/5/16)

  • US retail sales rise is biggest in year — US retail sales saw their biggest rise for more than a year in April, largely because of a surge in car sales. Overall retail sales grew by 1.3% last month compared with March, according to the US Commerce Department – the strongest gain since March 2015. (BBC, 13/5/16)
  • Eurozone GDP rises less than expected in first quarter — Eurozone economy grew less than expected in the first quarter, according to the flash estimate from Eurostat on Friday. Euro-area gross domestic product rose 0.5% in the first three months of the year compared to the fourth quarter. Analysts had pencilled in 0.6% quarter-on-quarter growth in the first quarter following a 0.3% gain in the previous three months. (Yahoo FInance, 13/5/16)
  • US producer prices rise modestly in April — U.S. producer prices rose in April as energy prices increased, but a marginal gain in the cost of services pointed to a moderate increase in inflation in the coming months. The Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index climbed 0.2 percent last month after slipping 0.1 percent in March. In the 12 months through April, the PPI was unchanged after dipping 0.1 percent in March. (CNBC, 13/5/16)
  • China’s production, investment, retail sales all disappoint in April — China’s investment, factory output and retail sales all grew more slowly than expected in April, adding to doubts about whether the world’s second-largest economy is stabilising. Growth in factory output cooled to 6 percent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday, disappointing analysts who expected it to rise to 6.5 percent on an annual basis after an increase of 6.8 percent the prior month. Retail sales growth in April, which captures both private and government purchasing, slowed to 10.1 percent. Analysts forecast sales would rise 10.5 percent on an annual basis after gaining 10.5 percent the prior month. (CNBC, 14/5/16)
  • No 900MHz deal for AIS, True Move — A mobile network rental agreement between Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move has finally been scrapped as neither company could agree on a compromise. (Bangkok Post, 16/5/16)
  • Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Jumps to Highest Level in a Year — Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed to an almost one-year high in May as Americans grew the most upbeat about incomes after inflation than at any time in a decade, the University of Michigan’s report showed on Friday. University of Michigan’s preliminary May index rose to 95.8, the highest since June, from 89 in April; median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 89.5. (Bloomberg, 13/5/16)
  • Empire State manufacturing survey at -9.02 vs. 7.25 reading expected – Factory activity inNew York shrank in May after expanding  for two months, as manufacturers received fewer orders and shipments fell. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index slumped to minus 9 in May, after reaching 9.6 the previous month. Any reading below zero points to contraction. (CNBC, 17/5/16)

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