Wednesday, January 9, 2013

20130109 0954 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM)  international reserves amounted to RM427.1bn (US$139.7bn) as at 31 Dec 2012, up from RM426.6bn (US$139.2bn) as at 14 Dec 2012. The reserves position is sufficient to finance 9.5 months of retained imports and is 4.2 times the short-term external debt. For 2012 as a whole, the international reserves rose by RM3.8bn to RM427.1bn from RM423.4bn at end-2011. Malaysia's international reserves are expected to continue to remain at a comfortable level in 2013, supported by trade and investment inflows. (BNM)

The US NFIB Small Business Optimism Index  rose to 88.0 in Dec from 87.5 in Nov, beating consensus of 87.9. (Bloomberg)

US consumer credit  rose US$16.0bn in Nov from a revised US$14.1bn gain in Oct, exceeding consensus of US$13.2bn. (Bloomberg)

The IMF will maintain its 2013 economic growth forecast for the US at 2.1% after last week's "fiscal cliff" deal but looming debt ceiling negotiations and sequestration pose risks, managing director Christine Lagarde said. (Reuters)

Eurozone economic confidence  rose to 87 in Dec from 85.7 in Nov. Economists were expecting a reading of 86.3.  Manufacturing sentiment improved to -14.4 from -15 in Nov, whilst  services confidence rose to -9.8 from  -11.9, whilst  consumer sentiment climbed to  -26.5 from  -26.6. (Business Post)

Eurozone unemployment hit 11.8% in Nov, up from 11.7% in Oct, with the number of people out of work in the single currency area now nudging 19m. (Bangkok Post)

Eurozone retail sales  gained 0.1% mom in Nov (-1.2% in Oct), the first increase in four months. (Bloomberg)

China's budget deficit will increase to about 2% of GDP in 2013 from the targeted 1.5% of GDP or Rmb800bn (US$127 billion) in 2012. (China Daily)

Japan plans to use its foreign-exchange reserves to buy bonds issued by the European Stability Mechanism and euro-area sovereigns in a bid to weaken its currency, but the purchase amount is yet undecided. (Bloomberg)

Fitch Ratings reiterated its negative outlook on India's sovereign rating and said it is now worried more about the country's deteriorating fiscal outlook than a slowdown in economic growth and price pressures. (WSJ)

Indonesia’s consumer confidence index  declined to 116.4 in Dec from 120.1 in Nov. (Bloomberg)

Thailand’s cabinet has approved  tax relief proposals for small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs)  affected by the increase in the nationwide minimum daily wage. Almost 2,500 workers were laid off in the first five days after the THB300 daily minimum wage was enforced on 1 Jan. The measures, which will cut tax revenue by about THB2.8bn include: Raising the income tax exemption limit for SMEs from THB150,000 to THB300,000 a year. SMEs declaring income between THB300,000 and THB1m will be taxed at 15% and those with over THB1m profit will pay tax at 20% on the difference. The withholding tax for SMEs will also be cut to 2% from 3%, They will be allowed to claim depreciation on machinery of 100% in the first year of purchase until the end of 2013, an extension of one year from the end of 2012. (Bangkok Post)

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