Vol. VIII No. 48 - Tuesday
December 1 - December 7, 2009



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


BUSINESS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thai exports’ decline improves in October

Thailand’s unemployment drops steadily to 1.1% in November

Thai exports’ decline improves in October

Thai exports in October shrank three percent year-on-year, a slower decline than the 8.53 percent year-on-year fall in September due to an increased volume of several exported items including rice, cassava and shrimp products, said Thai Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai.
Due to improving major export markets and new markets, Thai exports in the first ten months, worth US$124 billion, contracted 19.6 percent.
Gold exports in September worth $1 billion dropped by 50 percent to $500 million owing to fluctuations in gold speculation. Imports in October, accounting for $13 billion contracted 17.5 percent, but were used to produce exports.
Increased imports of auto parts, fuel and capital goods in October were applied to the production of exports, Pornthiva said.
Imports in the first ten months of this year, worth $1.6 billion, contracted 31.2 percent.
Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of $1.7 billion in October and $17 billion in the first ten months.
The commerce minister also said although the appreciation of the Thai baht at 33 baht to a dollar on average was an obstacle to Thai exports, agencies concerned have tried to maintain baht stabilization to prevent fluctuation that can cause problem on Thai exporters.
Economies of several countries which are key markets, such as the US, the European Union and Southeast Asia, have recovered with more orders for Thai goods.
It is expected that exports in the last two months of this year will turn positive 5 to 10 percent each month on average, leading to 2009 exports contracting by 13-15 percent, or $154 billion.
The ministry is confident that the country will enjoy a trade surplus of $15 billion this year.
The Department of Export Promotion (DEP) is adjusting structures and strategies and the 2010 export plan is expected to be cleared in mid-December. Thailand has continued to receive more orders thanks to the recovery of main markets.
It is expected that exports in 2010 will grow by 10-15 percent or $160 billion based on the assumptions that the Thai baht stays at 33 against the dollar and that domestic politics stabilize. (TNA)


Thailand’s unemployment drops steadily to 1.1% in November

Reflecting the current sluggish economy in Thailand, the unemployment rate in September dropped to 1.2 percent with signs that it will dwindle further to 1.1 percent in November, according to an announcement released by the Labor Ministry’s Employment Department.
The announcement said more than 280,000 persons were unemployed during the first ten months this year.
It said the number of unemployed who had registered and sought government assistance had also fallen sharply after soaring to a record high in February at 101,939 following the economic slowdown last October to only 47,836 persons in September.
Meanwhile, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said the number of employed in September this year rose by about 610,000 compared to the same period of last year, or an increase of 1.6 percent.
The NSO said jobless people at end-September stood at 460,000, up approximately 30,000 year-on-year and an increase of about 10,000 from August.
According to NSO, unemployment in the Northeast topped the list with about 130,000 persons followed by the Central 120,000; 90,000 in the North, 70,000 in the South and 50,000 in Bangkok. (TNA)



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