1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,622.35 points, decreased 5.00 points or 0.31% with a trading value of 80 billion baht. Investors pulled back from the Thai stock market amid disappointment in 4Q22/2022 earnings results that were lower than consensus. Meanwhile, the market still lacks positive drivers and the pressure from Fed’s rate hike continued to weigh on upside.
2) BOT says Thai economy in January was strong as consumption and tourism recovered
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) said on Tuesday that the Thai economy has seen an improvement in January compared to a month prior. This was due to sustained growth in private consumption and service sector activity.
According to the note, private consumption indicators grew as a result of the government’s stimulus initiatives. Exports of goods, excluding gold, saw a minor improvement, in line with increases in manufacturing output and private investment. Despite a decline in foreign visitors, domestic tourists helped boost the service industry. Both current and capital expenditures of the federal government increased from the same period last year, said the BOT on Tuesday.
Inflation in energy and fresh food has fallen, in part because of the high base set last year, and this has led to a decrease in headline inflation, which is a positive sign for the economy, according to the BOT’s press release on the Economic and Monetary Conditions for January 2023.
Meanwhile, Thailand welcomed 2.14 million tourists in January, a slight drop from 2.24 million in December 2022. In the meantime, Chinese tourists visited Thailand almost doubled in January, recording 91,841 people, up from 54,146 in December when strict Covid measures were still in place.
3) Japan’s factory output falls most in 8 months on weak auto and electronics sectors
Japan’s factory output dropped 4.6% in January compared to the previous month.
The reading declined more than expected by 2.9%, following a 0.3% increase the previous month.
Overall, the reduction was driven by the automobile industry, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and other technology-related parts and gadgets. Shipments declined moderately, causing inventories to fall for the second month in a row.
Automobile manufacturing declined by 10.1%, while output of production machinery and electronic components fell by 13.5% and 4.2% respectively. Semiconductor-making equipment dropped by 26.8%.
4) UK supermarkets struggle with fruit and vegetable shortages
The United Kingdom is now facing new economic challenges as supermarkets are forced to limit sales of fruits and vegetables due to supply shortages. This is a result of higher energy costs, which have prompted domestic farmers to cut production, and adverse weather conditions abroad.
Tomato, pepper, and cucumber purchases at Britain’s largest grocery chain, Tesco, are now capped at three per customer. Bad weather overseas was cited as the reason for the move, and the company promised to work with its suppliers to “get things back to normal.”
In an email, British Retail Consortium director of food and sustainability Andrew Opie said poor weather in Southern Europe and Northern Africa had damaged harvests, causing a crisis.
Opie has estimated that the disruption will last for several weeks.