Monthly economic update: May 2023
- Global economic steadily rebounded, led by tourism. International tourists reached 80% of Pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2023.
- Productions activities slightly improved but not solid yet. This was in line with the slow boosts of merchandise exports of US and EU, while UK’s trade remained in a steadily worsened conditions.
- Global inflation steadily subsided with inserting pressure from non-energy demand and OPEC cut.
- G3 labor markets remained strong. However, high interest rate and living costs greatly weighed on domestic demands. Together with soft global demands, G3 productions are expected to slowly gain stronger momentums in coming periods.
- Chinese economy steadily recovered after the nation stepped out of strict COVID19 measures. While domestic demands, as represented by retail sales, grew strongly, merchandise exports also registered an expansion.
- Japanese economy steadily advanced in Q1 of 2023., supported by domestic demands with a weakness in merchandise exports.
- In Mar23, the Thai economy slowed down compared to the previous month. Private consumption remained stable after durable goods had a good expansion in the preceding period. On the other hand, activities in the service sector continued to improve, following a good outturn in the number of Thai and foreign tourists.
- Private investment indicators declined due to the investment in machinery and equipment softened and a decline in registered commercial cars. Investment in construction also decreased.
- The value of merchandise exports excluding gold declined from the previous month, which was in line with weaker manufacturing production and private investment.
- The number of foreign tourist arrivals increased from the previous month mainly due to the recovery of Chinese tourists after China allowed group tours to travel to Thailand. Tourists from Europe (exc. Russia) and Malaysia continued to pick up.
- Headline inflation in Apr23 eased to 16-month low due to the further drop in food prices, as well as the core inflation, which also declined to below 2%.
- Major central banks around the world hiked policy rate to curb rising inflation but with slower pace. Market participants have pointed to possibilities of the Federal Reserve holding the policy interest rate as inflation pressures are lowered.
- Investors went into long term bond tenor, for both US and Thai bond, due to recession concerns. Moreover, 10y-2y yield spread for US government bond dropped below zero, signaling higher possibility of coming US economy recession. Meanwhile, 10y-2y yield spread for Thai government bond was still in positive territory.
- USDTHB largely appreciated in April, ending 34.13 level. It could be around 34.00-34.50 in May. US Dollar would appreciate in short-term as investors expect that the debt ceiling deal would succeed in order to avoid the US debt defaults.