1) Thai stock market overview
Thailand’s SET Index closed at 1,609.17 points, increased 3.75 points or 0.23% with a trading value of 43 billion baht. The analyst stated that the Thai stock market was able to close higher due to the buying pressure in DELTA as the market looks stable without it. The analyst recommended investors to monitor the report of U.S. PCE data tonight that could indicate the direction of the central bank’s policy rate.
2) Thai central bank says economic activity improves in February
The central bank of Thailand said on Friday that the country’s economy had improved further in February compared to the previous month, thanks to higher export values, stronger private spending, and better tourism.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) predicted a pick-up in economic activity and a subsequent increase in tourist arrivals, adding that it would keep an eye on the effects of global banking issues, inflationary pressures, and China’s reopening.
On Wednesday, the BOT announced that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to raise the policy rate by 0.25 percentage point from 1.50% to 1.75%, effective immediately
The central bank also cut its forecasts for economic growth, which were 3.7% and 3.9%, respectively, to 3.6% and 3.8% for this year and next year, respectively.
However, it raised its projections for international visitor arrivals to 28 million this year and 35 million the next year, from 25.5 million and 34 million, respectively.
3) Eurozone inflation slows to 6.9% in March
Inflation in the Eurozone slowed down significantly in March amid falling energy prices that helped lower the burden of people living in the bloc.
Consumer prices in March were at 6.9%, according to preliminary data reported by Eurostat on Friday, showing a significant drop from 8.5% in February. Falling energy costs cut prices from the reading by 1.6 percentage points.
Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, edged slightly higher to 5.7%, compared to 5.6% in February.
4) World Bank raises East Asia growth outlook as China reopens
The World Bank has raised its growth projections for East Asian and Pacific economies, citing a rebound in Chinese activity as well as the notion that the region has been largely unaffected by the impacts of global banking pressures.
The World Bank raised its growth forecast for the region from 4.6% to 5.1% for 2023 in its latest report.
In terms of China’s economy, World Bank forecasts for 2023 have been increased from 4.5% to 5.1% annual growth.
The report stated, “The forecast assumes a pro-growth alignment of public health, regulatory, and macroeconomic policy in China,” with the expectation that inflation will increase to 2.6% in 2023 from 2% in 2022 as a result of a rebound in domestic consumption.