• Land tax tweaked to spur activity. The land and buildings tax to be levied on vacant land will increase by 0.5 percentage points every three years until it is capped at 5%, says Deputy Finance Minister Wisudhi Srisuphan . (Bangkok Post, 14/02/17)
  • Ministry of Commerce expects Thai economy to grow 3-4% since higher oil prices will support farm income and push inflation to the range of 1.5%-2.0%. (Kom Chad Luek, 14/02/17)
  • Alro to wrap up wind farm study. The Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) will conclude its examination of whether wind energy projects comply with Sor Por Kor land lease contract requirements in the next 45 days, Agriculture and cooperatives Minister Chatchai Sarikulya says. (Bangkok Post, 16/2/17)
  • China exports beat forecasts, up nearly 8% in Jan. China’s exports rose 15.9% in January from a year earlier in yuan terms, following a 0.6% increase in December, official data showed Friday. Imports in January surged 25.2% in yuan terms from a year earlier, extending a 10.8% rise in December, the General Administration of Customs said. The country’s trade surplus widened last month to 354.53 billion yuan ($51.62 billion) from 275.42 billion yuan in December. (Market Watch, 10/02/17)
  • China Jan consumer inflation quickens to 2.5%, beating forecasts. China’s consumer inflation rate quickened to 2.5 percent in January from a year earlier, the highest since May 2014 and beating market expectations. (Reuters, 14/2/17)
  • Fed on course to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting: Yellen. The Federal Reserve will likely need to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday, although she flagged considerable uncertainty over economic policy under the Trump administration. Yellen said delaying rate increases could leave the Fed’s policymaking committee behind the curve and eventually lead it to hike rates quickly, which she said could cause a recession. “Waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise,” Yellen told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, citing the central bank’s expectations the job market will tighten further and that inflation would rise to 2 percent. (CNBC, 14/2/17)
  • Yellen: Growth is ‘quite disappointing’ — but that’s not the Fed’s fault. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged that the economy is weak, but said Fed policies have been a help, not a hindrance. Since the central bank enacted historically accommodative policies following the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. actually has grown faster than most other parts of the world and has a strong banking system, she said. (CNBC, 16/2/17)
  • March is a done deal’ for the Fed’s next rate hike, Peter Boockvar says. The Fed’s first interest rate hike of 2017 is likely to come next month because of inflation indicators and Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s congressional hearing, analyst Peter Boockvar told CNBC on Thursday.”I think March is a done deal. I think Yellen in her nice, soft, clear way said it was a done deal. And I think yesterday’s CPI number clinched it,” the Lindsey Group chief market analyst said on “Squawk Box.” (CNBC, 17/2/17)
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims rise less than expected. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week, a sign that the labor market was continuing to tighten. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week ended Feb. 11, the Labor Department said on Thursday. (Reuters, 17/2/17)
  • U.S. housing starts fall; building permits hit one-year high. U.S. homebuilding fell in January as the construction of multi-family housing projects dropped, but upward revisions to the prior month’s data and a jump in permits to a one-year high suggested the housing recovery remained on track. Housing starts fell 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.25 million units last month, the Commerce Department said. The drop in homebuilding also may have resulted from unusually wet weather in California after years of drought. (Reuters, 17/2/17)

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