A customer takes a photo with his mobile phone at a Thai Airways pop-up airplane-themed restaurant at the airline’s headquarters in Bangkok on Sept. 10, 2020.

Mladen Antonov | AFP | Getty Images

Thailand will focus on spurring domestic consumption and reopening an economy badly hit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis, the country’s new finance ministry said on Monday.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy suffered its deepest contraction in 22 years in the second quarter as the pandemic hammered the key tourism sector and domestic activity.

The other main tasks include boosting liquidity, supporting tourism and accelerating public spending, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told reporters on his first official day at work.

“The most urgent task is to boost liquidity for businesses affected by Covid-19 as the business sector accounts for 70% of GDP,” he said.

The government will continue to introduce measures to support domestic consumption, which makes up half of the economy, and tourism, Arkhom said.

Later on Monday, the cabinet will consider planned tax breaks to increase spending, which is estimated to add 120 billion baht ($3.9 billion) into the economy.

The ministry will speed up government spending, which accounts for 20% of GDP, including a delayed 400 billion baht budget earmarked for reviving the economy under a bigger 1 trillion baht borrowing plan, Arkhom said.

Regarding a persistently strong baht, Arkhom said it is “an unresolved problem” and the ministry will closely
monitor.

“But the central bank will take care of it,” he said, speaking after the baht hit a more than two-week high last week.

Longer-term measures will include reopening particularly to foreign tourists to help the economy to continue to expand next year, Arkhom said.

“Although the situation looks better next year and there may be a vaccine, it will still take one or two

On the Macro

It’s a busy week ahead on the economic calendar, with 68 stats in focus in the week ending 16th October. In the week prior, 53 stats had been in focus.

For the Dollar:

It’s a relatively busy week ahead on the economic data front.

On Monday and Tuesday, September inflation and wholesale inflation figures are due out.

The focus then shifts to manufacturing sector activity and labor market numbers on Thursday.

Expect the Philly FED Manufacturing PMI for October and the weekly initial jobless claims to impact.

At the end of the week, retail sales and industrial production figures are due out, along with October consumer sentiment numbers.

Expect the retail sales and prelim Michigan consumer Sentiment figures to have the greatest impact.

Away from the calendar, the next Presidential debate on 15th October will also provide direction. That is assuming that Trump decides to attend…

The Dollar Spot Index ended the week down by 0.84% to 93.057.

For the EUR:

It’s also a relatively busy week ahead on the economic data front.

On Tuesday, ZEW Economic Sentiment figures for Germany and for the Eurozone are in focus.

Expect some EUR sensitivity to the numbers on the day.

The focus will then shift to Eurozone industrial production figures for August, due out on Wednesday.

At the end of the week, the Eurozone’s trade figures for August will also garner some interest.

Finalized inflation figures for member states and the Eurozone are also due out. Barring deviation from prelims, however, the numbers should have a muted impact on the EUR.

On the monetary policy front, ECB President Lagarde is scheduled to speak on a number of occasions in the week. Expect any forward guidance or views on the economy to influence.

Away from the economic

Stocks traded higher Friday morning as investors continued to mull chances of a virus-relief package amid mixed signals from officials as to what size of a proposal they might support.

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The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq each closed at their highest levels in more than five weeks by the end of the trading day on Thursday. All three major indices were on track to rise for a third straight day, and post weekly gains of at least 2.7%, as of Thursday’s closing levels.

Traders have closely monitored developments out of Washington to weigh whether a comprehensive or partial stimulus package might emerge before Election Day on Nov. 3, with additional relief measures viewed as a key tenet in encouraging the recovery in the virus-stricken economy. The Department of Labor’s weekly report on new jobless claims Thursday morning showed a worse than expected 840,000 individuals filed for first-time unemployment insurance benefits last week, though continuing claims dipped back below 11 million for the first time since late March.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed further stimulus in an about 40-minute conversation Thursday afternoon, Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill said in a Twitter post.

Hammill reported that Mnuchin “made clear the President’s interest in reaching” an agreement on a comprehensive package, after Pelosi said earlier in the day that she would not support a standalone proposal aimed at providing aid only to airlines. However, the White House has offered mixed signals as to whether it would in fact support a broader legislative package, with Trump and White House spokespeople offering conflicting takes on their willingness to back a more comprehensive proposal over the past couple days.

“A compromise on a big stimulus package in Washington could potentially deliver another October surprise, but the odds are against it

Much has been written about the pandemic-precipitated problems plaguing real estate’s commercial sector. But with office and retail-oriented real estate feeling the ill effects of COVID-19, there’s one sector that seemingly remains in the pink of health.

That is the commercial real estate industry’s industrial sector, comprised of factories, warehouses, distribution centers, fulfillment centers, data centers and similar real property. JLL
JLL
recently reported e-commerce represents half its U.S. leasing activity, an increase from the 36% number registered prior to the onset of COVID-19.

The firm projects an anticipated $900 billion increase in online sales over the next half decade will translate to need for more than one billion additional square feet of industrial real estate by 2025.

In few places is the metamorphosis more evident than in the Chicago metropolitan area, which is able to leverage its advantage as a central U.S. transportation hub in supplying the factory, warehouse and fulfillment center needs of companies nation- and worldwide. A recent snapshot of the Chicago metro’s industrial market reveals new industrial leasing soared by 56.3 % year-over-year, based on 21.2 million square feet in new leasing activity, according to the latest Cushman-Wakefield report.

Surging demand

“Industrial assets remain largely insulated from the pandemic’s devastating economic toll,” says Robert Smietana, vice chairman and CEO of Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate, which recently inked an enormous lease for its 757,880-square-foot, new construction warehouse project in the southwestern Chicago suburb of Shorewood, Ill., near Joliet.

“In recent months, we’ve seen demand for warehouse space surge as consumers and businesses rely on e-commerce for everyday needs. Supply chains have shifted in response to these broader changes, which have

BUDAPEST, Oct 9 (Reuters)Central European currencies firmed on Friday, with the Hungarian forint extending gains after a lower-than-expected September inflation reading took pressure off the central bank and the trade balance posted a sizeable surplus in August.

While the decline in inflation temporarily relieves the National Bank of Hungary, which is battling inflation and deepening recession worries, risks in Central European and emerging markets are high as COVID-19 cases spike.

“The slowing pace of recovery in CEE and the rising number of new COVID-19 cases will likely keep risks elevated,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note.

“While we think that the benign September inflation print will ease some of the pressure for the (Hungarian) central bank to deliver tighter monetary conditions, we think that it is too early for it to consider realigning the one-week depo rate to the base rate at 0.60%.”

The bank hiked the one-week depo rate by 15 basis points to 0.75% on Sept. 25, which helped shore up the weakening forint and reverse a negative trend.

On Friday, the forint EURHUF= was up 0.1% at 357.20 to the euro, after it outperformed peers on Thursday.

Hungary posted a foreign trade surplus of 251 million euros ($295.98 million) in August, above analyst forecasts for 140 million.

The Czech crown EURCZK= was also 0.1% firmer, even though the Czech Republic’s daily cases of the novel coronavirus rose to 5,394 on Thursday, the third record tally in a row.

“Thursday was a bad day for the CZK rates, (on) the long end dropping by 6 bps on disappointing retail sales, a record number of new COVID-19 cases and tighter government restrictions announced in the afternoon,” Komercni Banka trader Marek Lesko said in a morning note on Friday.

The Czech government will tighten anti-coronavirus measures from