• 5% GDP growth target set for 2017-21—The12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-21) has set targets of 5% annual GDP growth and per capita income of US$8,200 (286,200 baht), up from $6,000 now. (Bangkok Post, 25/07/16)
  • First-half loan loss provisions sufficient to handle rise in NPLs in second half, central bank says – LOAN-LOSS reserves put in place by the banking sector in the first half of the year are sufficient to cope with a rise in non-performing loans (NPLs) in the second half, Tongurai Limpiti, Bank of Thailand deputy governor for financial institutions’ stability, has said. (The Nation, 25/07/16)
  • NINE BID FOR ORANGE LINE – Nine private companies have bought bid envelopes to construct the Orange Line electric train route linking the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri district in eastern Bangkok. (Bangkok Post, 24/07/16)
  • Cabinet approves Bt44-billion rail projects – THE CABINET yesterday approved construction of two Bangkok urban rail lines worth Bt44.16 billion, part of a larger infrastructure initiative by the ruling junta as it seeks to revive the sluggish economy. (The Nation, 27/7/16)
  • Section 44 urged for rice sales – The government is being urged to exercise the powerful Section 44 of the interim charter to cut red tape and speed up sales of state rice stocks. (Bangkok Post, 27/7/16)
  • Tourism, investment to atone for exports — Despite a deeper cut in its export forecast, the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has maintained its economic growth projection of 3.3% this year as ramped-up state investment and the robust tourism industry are expected to offset sagging outbound shipments. (Ba ngkok Post, 29/7/16)

  • Thai-Chinese rail build gets B179bn cap — The Transport Ministry has agreed to cap the cost of the Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed train project at 179 billion baht after months of arguments with Beijing on the final figure. The 12th meeting between Thai and Chinese authorities on the joint 252.5km rail project failed to come up with a clear cost estimate, but “the cost will certainly not be greater than 179 billion baht”. Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit said after the meeting Thursday. He said both sides still need to settle two issues — spending on a feasibility study and future expenses related to training on a feasibility study and future expenses related to training courses for Thai staff.
  • Euro zone business growing at weakest rate since start of 2015 – PMI — Euro zone business growth was at its slowest since the start of 2015 this month as a stronger performance in the two big economies of Germany and France was offset by weakness in smaller countries, a survey showed on Friday. Markit’s flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), seen as a good growth indicator, dipped to 52.9 from June’s 53.1, the lowest reading since January 2015. However, a Reuters poll had predicted a steeper fall to 52.5. (Reuters, 23/7/16)
  • IMF raises China growth forecast for its decisive reforms, steady support to economy: Lagarde – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased its growth forecast for China in 2016 due to the country’s “determined and decisive” implementation of reforms and the “steady” support for the economy, said managing director Christine Lagarde here on Friday. (Xinhua, 25/07/16)
  • A BOJ ‘Mega Surprise’ Could Come Even Without Boosting Stimulus – In the roulette game of Bank of Japan policy forecasting, most players are betting on Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to double down on some or all of his current three main policy tools on Friday. (Bloomberg, 27/7/16)

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