Industrial production up
Industrial output rose for the first time in four months last month as manufacturers produced more pharmaceuticals, countering a slump in electronics. Manufacturing gained 3.1 percent from a year earlier after a revised 5.1 percent drop in October, the Economic Development Board said in a report yesterday. The median of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 4.8 percent increase. Output increased a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent from the previous month, when it rose a revised 1.2 percent. Electronics production declined 2.3 percent from a year earlier last month, while pharmaceutical output gained 13.2 percent, the report said.
Manufacturing, exports up
Export growth quickened to a 15-month high last month as factories returned to full capacity after last year’s floods and global demand improved. Overseas sales rose 26.9 percent last month from a year earlier after climbing a previously reported 15.6 percent in October, the Ministry of Commerce said in Bangkok yesterday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 12 economists was 26.4 percent. Imports rose 24.5 percent from a year earlier for a trade deficit of US$1.45 billion, compared with a shortfall of US$2.47 billion reported earlier for October, the report said. The commerce ministry earlier said it expects export growth of up to 9 percent next year from 4.17 percent this year.
Consumer confidence low
Consumer confidence failed to improve this month as a budget stand-off in the US and austerity measures in Europe highlighted risks for the nation’s exports. The sentiment index was at 99 this month, unchanged from last month, indicating pessimists continue to outnumber optimists, the Bank of Korea said in a statement yesterday. In October, the bank estimated an GDP expansion of 3.2 percent next year, reducing a July prediction of 3.8 percent. The consumer confidence index is based on responses from 2,032 households in 56 cities, with the survey conducted by mail and telephone between Dec. 10 and Dec. 18.
Debt trading considered
The government may allow more types of bonds to be traded on stock exchanges in a bid to boost trading volumes, the Shanghai Securities News said yesterday. Officials are considering the introduction of depositary receipts to allow debt currently tradable only on the interbank market to also be traded on exchanges, the report said. Such a proposal may need approval from the State Council the newspaper said. The interbank market had 22.2 trillion yuan (US$3.6 trillion) of outstanding bonds at the end of last month, according to Chinabond, the nation’s bond clearing house. That compared with 449 billion yuan on stock exchanges, where retail investors are allowed to trade, it said.
Netflix back online
Netflix Inc, the world’s biggest video-streaming service, said access to its movie and television content was restored after a disruption caused by Amazon.com Inc’s Web storage and computing systems. Many customers in the Americas were unable to access online content on Monday from around 3:30pm New York time until later that day, Netflix spokesman Joris Evers said. The company said it was investigating the cause and would do what it can to prevent a reoccurrence. Streaming services in Europe were not affected, the firm said.