Thursday, November 22, 2012

20121122 1023 Local & Global Economy Related News.

The government's  GDP growth target of 5% this year is easily achievable, given the impressive 5.2% economic expansion in 3Q12, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin. He said Malaysia's economy only needs to grow a minimum 4.1% in 4Q12, to achieve the 5% target. Cumulatively, for the first nine months, GDP grew by 5.3%. "I am not even surprised if the growth for the full year goes in excess of the 5% target," he said. Asked whether the government would raise the full-year growth target, Awang Adek said there are "no plans to do so at the moment." (Bernama)

Malaysia is projected to drop one  spot to  rank 14th in global manufacturing competitiveness in five years. According to a report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) Global Manufacturing Industry group and the US Council of Competitiveness released Wednesday, Indonesia and Vietnam are forecast to overtake Malaysia, climbing up six and eight spots respectively to rank 11th and 10th respectively in the index. “The Southeast Asia region appears to be very promising in terms of competitiveness. Five Southeast Asian nations  – Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam – have emerged within the top 20 rankings of the index” said Nuanjai Gittisriboongul, Manufacturing Industry Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia. China, ranked as the most competitive manufacturing nation in the world both now and five years from now, together with India and Brazil, both projected to rank 2nd and 3rd respectively five years from now in the index, offer challenges to 20th century manufacturing stalwarts like the US, Germany and Japan to maintain their competitive edge. (The Edge)

Malaysia's unemployment rate increased to 3.2% in Sep from 2.7% in Aug. The latest figure was the highest since Feb 2012. (Department of Statistics)

US leading indicators grew 0.2% mom in Oct (0.6% in Sep), matching consensus. (Bloomberg)

The  US Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index dipped to a final reading of 82.7 in Nov (84.9 in the  earlier reading; 82.6 in Oct), worse than consensus of 84.0. (Bloomberg)

US manufacturing PMI registered at 52.4 in Nov (51.0 in Oct), better than consensus of 51.0. (Bloomberg)

US initial jobless claims dipped to 410,000 in the 17 Nov week (a revised 451,000 in the earlier week), lower than consensus of 415,000. (Bloomberg)

The US MBA purchase applications index rose 3.0% wow in 16 Nov (11.0% in the earlier week), whilst the refinance index lost 3.0% wow (+13.0% in the prior week). (Bloomberg)

Eurozone finance ministers yet again put off a decision to extend up to €44bn of long-overdue aid to Greece, after failing to overcome lasting divisions over how fast to cut Athen’s mounting debt pile. (FT)

Japan’s trade deficit nearly doubled to US$6.7bn from a  year ago in Oct, marking the worst Oct trade figures in more than 30 years. The shortfall in yen terms  came to ¥549bn, expanding from a year-earlier deficit of ¥283bn as exports fell 6.5%. (AFP)

In Indonesia, the Jakarta city administration has set a monthly provincial minimum wage  of Rp2.2m for 2013. It is slightly lower than the Jakarta Remuneration Council had recommended at Rp2.216m and slightly higher than the basic cost of living (KHL) which reaches Rp1.98m. (Antara News)

The Philippines has moved closer to raising tobacco and alcohol taxes, as the Senate passed a bill that would raise PP40bn (nearly US$1bn) in "sin taxes" each year. Under the proposed law, cigarette excise taxes would be gradually raised to PP26 (US$0.63) per pack by 2016. (AFP)

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