• Thai referendum: Military-written constitution approved — A clear majority of Thai referendum voters have backed a draft constitution written by an army-appointed committee. Unofficial tallies show that 61.45% voted in favour. The military threw out the old constitution when it took power in 2014, after months of political instability and sporadic violence. Supporters of the new document say it will restore stability, but critics say it will entrench military control. (BBC, 7/8/16)
  • Megaprojects to get boost from Yes vote — The government’s 20 planned megaprojects with a combined valued of 1.41 trillion baht are set to move forward smoothly after the Yes vote for the new constitution . (CNBC, 8/8/16) Egat eyes B345bn investment — The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is mulling a plan to launch another infrastructure fund in order to raise cash to develop highvoltage transmission lines, eyeing a 345.05-billion-baht investment budget. (Bangkok Post, 9/8/16)
  • US created 255,000 jobs in July vs. 180,000 jobs expected — Job creation crushed estimates in July as the economy added 255,000 positions, according to the Labor Department. The headline unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent, though a more encompassing measure that includes those not actively looking for work and those working part-time for economic reasons moved up a notch to 9.7 percent. Though still mired near generational lows, the labor force participation rate ticked up one-tenth to 62.8 percent as those counted as not in the labor force decreased 184,000 to 94.3 million. (CNBC, 8/8/16)
  • China Exports Remain Subdued as Import Drop Fuels Demand Concern — China’s exports remained sluggish last month, signaling tepid global demand, while deteriorating imports raise concern domestic conditions may be weakening anew. Overseas shipments fell 4.4 percent in U.S. dollars, rose 2.9 percent in yuan terms in July from a year earlier.  Imports dropped 12.5 percent in dollar terms, slipped 5.7 percent in local currency. Trade surplus widened to $52.3 billion. (Bloomberg, 8/8/16)

  • Fed’s Powell urges patience on US rates, citing growth risks — The U.S. economy is at increasing risk of becoming trapped in a prolonged phase of slow growth that points to the need for lower interest rates than previously expected, Federal Reserve policymaker Jerome Powell was quoted as saying.
  • UK manufacturing production continued to shrink in June — Britain’s manufacturing sector continued to shrink in the month leading up to, and including, the EU’s membership referendum, according to official data, although declines in output moderated slightly. Manufacturing production fell 0.3 per cent month-on-month in June following a 0.6 per cent contraction in May. June’s outcome was slightly worse than the 0.2 per cent decline forecast by economists. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the biggest decline in June was in the manufacture of transport equipment, which fell by 1 per cent. (Financial Times, 10/8/16)
  • China CPI growth slows to 1.8%, PPI falls for 53 months — The pace of CPI growth slowed further from June’s 1.9%, below the government’s 2016 target of 3%, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, China’s producer prices contracted for the 53rd month in a row at 1.7% on a year-on-year basis in July. However, they did increase 0.2% from a month earlier. (Asia  Nikkei, 10/8/16)
  • UK economy started to contract in July – NIESR — Britain’s economy started to shrink the month following the vote to leave the European Union, according to a forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research on Tuesday. Britain’s economy contracted around 0.2 percent last month, NIESR estimated, pushing down quarterly growth in the three months to July to 0.3 percent from 0.6 percent in the three months to June. (Reuters, 10/8/16)
  • US oil settles 2.48 pct lower, or $1.06, at $41.71 a barrel — Oil prices fell Wednesday after an unseasonal growth in crude stockpiles offset the second-biggest weekly draw in U.S. gasoline this summer. U.S. crude inventories gained 1.1 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 5, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported, in a third straight week of builds that surprised the market. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 1.0 million-barrel crude draw instead. The EIA also reported that U.S. gasoline stocks fell 2.8 million barrels last week in the second-biggest weekly draw for gasoline since mid-April. The draw, coming despite U.S. East Coast refinery runs hitting 2011 lows, exceeded expectations for a gasoline stockpile drop of only 1.1 million barrels. (CNBC, 11/8/16)
  • Fed’s Powell urges patience on US rates, citing growth risks — The U.S. economy is at increasing risk of becoming trapped in a prolonged phase of slow growth that points to the need for lower interest rates than previously expected, Federal Reserve policymaker Jerome Powell was quoted as saying.

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