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Korea's economic data for June largely were poor, and are likely to make more BoK board members anxious ,ahead of their meeting on July 18.
In one line: BoK relying on fiscal stimulus.
We expect the BoK to hike this month, believing that it's necessary to curtail household debt growth now, in order to prevent a sharper economic slowdown as the Fed hiking cycle continues, China slows, and trade risks unfold.
Data and events have gone against the idea of further BoK policy normalisation since the November hike.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea voted yesterday to lower its policy base rate to 1.25%, from 1.50%.
The BoJ is doing everything within its power to cushion the virus blow; The PBoC is driving down market rates without a formal corridor cut; The Bank of Korea steps in with an emergency cut, despite falling new infections locally
Korea watchers appear to be hanging on Governor Lee Ju-yeol's every word, searching for any sign that he'll drop his hawkish pursuit of more sustainable household debt levels and prioritise short-term growth concerns.
The Korean unemployment rate edged back up to 3.7% in November from October's 3.6%. Young graduates--the usual suspects--accounted for most of the rise.
The Bank kept interest rates unchanged at 1.50% yesterday, but downgraded its inflation forecast for 2018 to 1.6% from 1.7%
The effects of Covid-19--both negative and positive--on Korea's labour market certainly were felt in February.
The Bank of Korea yesterday laid out its conditions for following July's rate cut with another.
In one line: Asian central banks join global onslaught against Covid-19... to varying degrees
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday voted unanimously to lower its base rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.50%.
Korea's government is mulling a further tightening of borrowing rules to mitigate the risks of an overheated property market.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea is likely to keep its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.25%, at its meeting this week.
Korea's 20-day export growth came in weaker than we anticipated earlier this week. Granted, year-over- year growth rebounded to 14.8% in May, from 8.3% in April.
We expect the Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea to keep its benchmark base rate unchanged on Thursday, at 0.50%.
President Moon was elected earlier this year on a promise to rebalance the economy toward domestic demand and reduce export dependency. It's not the first time politicians have received such a mandate.
Korea's business survey index rose for a second straight month in March, to 75 from 73 in February, on our adjustment.
Korea's labour market took an overdue breather in March after an extremely volatile start to the year.
Expect Chinese PPI deflation in the second half. China's CPI inflation faces non-core cross currents; services inflation still slowing. Unemployment in Korea held steady in June; the BoK will be chuffed about improving job growth. PPI deflation in Japan will persist until the end of the year.
This week's main economic data from Korea--the last batch before the BoK meets on the 16th--missed consensus expectations, further fuelling speculation that it will cut rates for a second time, after pausing in August.
The BoK surprised markets and commentators by keeping rates unchanged at 1.25% yesterday, rather than cutting to 1.0%.
Don't expect the BoK to follow the BoJ's unorthodoxy in the foreseeable future. The upward correction in Korean unemployment has much more room to run.
China's firms aren't passing on tax hikes after all. China takes full advantage of previous oil price declines. Japan's core machine orders better than expected, but that won't help Q2. Japan is heading for a spell of sustained PPI deflation in H2. Better May jobs report will help to keep any BoK rate cuts at bay.
China's manufacturing PMI was poised for major disappointment... the trade war impact is clear. Don't be fooled by the relative stability of China's non-manufacturing PMI. Japan's March unemployment uptick was early; April was payback. Japan's CPI inflation has peaked. Japan's industrial production ticks up after extreme weakness; don't hold your breath for the recovery. Japan's consumers in poor shape, but maybe it's not that bad. The upswing in Korean industrial production likely to take a breather this month. The BoK holds firm, despite rising calls for a rate cut.
Japan's firms are done hiring. Tokyo inflation points to uptick in national gauge, driven by non-core effects. Japan's start to Q4 goes from bad to worse, as industrial production tanks in October. Still far too soon to call time on Korea's IP recovery, despite the October setback. Governor Lee attempts to manage 2020 expectations, as the BoK stands pat after the October cut.
The BoK kept rates unchanged at 1.50% yesterday. We thought a hike was open to consideration, as the authorities had professed to be on a mission to reduce dependency on exports and household debt. But we remain more bearish than the BoK on the outlook for the rest of the year.
Korea's economy is shaping up largely in line with our expectations for the second quarter, with private consumption recovering, but exports and investment tanking.
China's Q2 real GDP growth officially slowed to 6.2% year-over-year, from 6.4% in Q1, which already matched the trough in the financial crisis.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.0% in December from 0.6% in November, driven by food prices.
China's abysmal industrial profits data for October underscore why the chances of less- timid monetary easing are rising rapidly.
The BoJ until last week had been in wait-and-see mode over China's slowdown, but they finally folded with Thursday's decision.
The Bank of Korea finally pulled the trigger, raising its base rate to 1.75% at its meeting on Friday. After a year of will-they-or-won't-they, five of the Monetary Policy Board's seven members voted to add another 25 basis points to their previous hike twelve months ago.
The picture for Korean quarterly real GDP growth in Q4 was unchanged in the final reading, published yesterday, showing a contraction of 0.2%, after the 1.4% jump in Q3.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea will tomorrow hold its final meeting for the year.
China's economic targets are AWOL this year, thanks to Covid-19 disruptions to the legislative calendar... and because policymakers seem unsure of what targets to set in such uncertain times.
Korean real GDP growth--to be published on Thursday--should bounce back in Q1 to 1.0% quarter-on-quarter, after the 0.2% drop in Q4.
Predictably, the Bank of England's estimate that GDP would plunge by 8% in the first year after a disorderly no-deal, no transition Brexit and that interest rates would need to rise to 5.5% to contain inflation grabbed the headlines yesterday.
Don't expect a pretty picture when Korea's Q1 GDP report appears in the last week of April.
Tokyo CPI inflation jumped to 1.5% in October, from 1.2% in September. That
Korean GDP unexpectedly declined in Q4, for the first time since the financial crisis, falling 0.2% quarter-on-quarter after a 1.5% jump in Q3.
It looks as though business and consumer confidence in Korea has brushed off the economic threat of the second Covid-19 wave.
The forward-looking indices of China's Caixin manufacturing PMI for April attracted more attention than the headline, which was a bit of a non-event; it rose trivially 51.1, from 51.0 in March.
Korean real GDP growth rebounded to 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, from 0.6% in Q2. The main driver was exports, with government consumption also popping, and private consumption was a little faster than we were expecting.
Japan's retail sales data--due out on Thursday-- have been badly affected by the October tax hike.
In yesterday's Monitor, we laid out the prime causes of China's weekend announcement, cutting the reserve requirement ratio.
Korean real GDP growth rebounded to 1.1% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, after GDP fell 0.2% in Q4. Growth in Q4 was hit by distortions, thanks to a long holiday in October, which normally falls in September.
Hong Kong delivered a resounding landslide victory to pro-Democracy parties in district council elections over the weekend.
Japan's CPI inflation was stable at 0.2% in October, despite the sales tax hike, thanks to a combination of offsetting measures from the government and a deepening of energy deflation.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday left its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.75%, at its first meeting of the year.
In our Webinar--see here--we laid out scenarios for Chinese GDP in Q1 and for this year.
Yesterday's State Council meeting significantly expanded support to the economy, through a number of channels.
Major central banks in Asia, particularly those operating in export-oriented economies, have recently been pinning their future policy moves on the prospects of a specific industry, namely semiconductors.
Industrial profits in China continues to go from strength to strength, with growth accelerating to 19.6% year-over-year in July, from 11.5% in July.
Korea's manufacturing PMI fell for a fourth straight month in April, dropping to 41.6, which is the lowest reading since January 2009.
In his second confirmation hearing, Governor Kuroda continued his dance with markets, dialling down the exit talk.
China's unadjusted current account surplus widened to $16.0B in the preliminary report for Q3, from $5.3B in Q2.
Following the publication of Korea's preliminary Q4 GDP report last month--see here--we said the consensus-beating print would be susceptible to downgrades, unless the economy had a miraculous end to 2018
Recent market turmoil and concerns on the outlook for global growth have re-awakened talk of stimulus. For the BoJ, this inevitably raises the question of what could possibly be done, given that policy already appears to be on the excessively loose side of loose.
The rapid escalation of Covid-19 cases in Korea in recent weeks has broadened the likely damage to the economy this quarter.
The recovery in Korean exports--a key leading indicator for global trade--appears to have stalled in August.
It is becoming increasingly safe to say that any bounce in private consumption following the end of Japan's state of emergency will be muted and difficult to sustain.
The PBoC cut the Reserve Requirement Ratio late on Friday--as signalled at last Wednesday's State Council meeting--by 0.5 percentage points, to be implemented from September 16.
Japan: Monetary base growth slowed to 2.8% y/y in August, from 3.7% in July. Bloomberg reports no consensus, Korea: Q2 GDP growth was revised down to 1.0% q/q, from 1.1% in the preliminary report, below the no-change consensus. • Korea: CPI inflation fell to 0.0% in August, from 0.6% in July, below the consensus, 0.2%.
Japan's average monthly labour earnings growth tumbled to 0.9% year-over-year in August, from 1.6% in July. This is not a disaster.
China's foreign exchange reserves have been extremely volatile over the past few months, yet uneventful at the same time.
The RMB has been on a tear, as expectations for a "Phase One" trade deal have firmed.
Headline GDP growth in Korea was revised down, to a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q2, from 0.7% in the preliminary report.
GDP data for Q2 are due July 26; we expect the report to show a marginal dip in growth, to a seasonally adjusted 0.8% quarter-on-quarter, from 1.0% in Q1.
Japan's retail sales values jumped 1.2% month-on-month in October, after the upwardly-revised 0.1% increase in September.
The Tankan survey--published on Monday--points to still buoyant sentiment, a further tightening of the labour market, and building inflation pressures.
Japanese retail sales were unchanged in October month-on-month, after a 0.8% rise in September.
China's official manufacturing PMI for May, out tomorrow, will give the first indication of the coming hit from the resumption of its tariff war with the U.S.
China's official PMIs were little changed in August, with the manufacturing gauge up trivially to 51.3, from 51.2 in July and the non-manufacturing gauge up to 54.2, from 54.0.
Japan's labour market is already tight, but last week's data suggest it is set to tighten further.
Korean hard data for December, so far, leave the door ajar for the possibility that the Bank of Korea will roll back its November hike sooner than we expect.
Japan's monetary base growth has continued to slow, to 13.2% year-over-year in November from 14.5% in October.
GDP growth in India slowed sharply in the first quarter of the year, as expected--see here--opening the door for the RBI to cut interest rates further at its policy announcement tomorrow.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI edged down to 50.6 in August, from July's 50.8. This clashed with the increase in the official PMI, though the moves in both indexes were modest.
The downturn in global trade looks set to turn a corner, at least judging by the outlook for Korean exports, which are a key bellwether.
The Caixin manufacturing headline was unremarkable, but the input price index signals that PPI inflation is set to rise again in May, to 4.0%-plus, from 3.4% in April.
Korean industrial production surprised to the upside in August, according to data released yesterday.
China's data on Monday were beyond dire, leading to a dramatic downward revision of our already grim Q1 GDP forecasts for the country.
Construction accounted for the entire 1.1% quarter-to- quarter expansion of the Korean economy in Q1, but the sector is now set to slow.
Korean exports are often a useful gauge of Asian and global trade; the country sits near the beginning of the global supply chain. It also happens to publish early in the data cycle and provides a measure of exports in the first 20 days of the month.
China's M2 growth slowed to 8.2% year-over-year in August, from 8.5% in July
When Park Geun-hye came to power in Korea 2013, it was to cheers of "economic democratisation". At the time, I wrote a report with a list of reforms that would be needed for Korea to "economically democratise".
Korea's unemployment rate was unchanged in April, at 3.8%, beating even our below-consensus forecast for only a minor uptick, to 3.9%.
Japan's PPI data yesterday confirmed that October was a turning point for prices--due to the consumption tax hike--despite the surprising stability of CPI inflation in Tokyo for the same month.
China's unadjusted March trade balance rebounded to a surplus of $20B, from a combined deficit of -$7B in the first two months of the year.
Japan's PPI inflation was unchanged, at 3.0%, in August.
Today's CPI report from India should raise the pressure on the RBI to abandon its aggressive easing, which has resulted in 135 basis points worth of rate cuts since February.
Official, real GDP growth was low in Q1, at 1.4% quarter-on-quarter, down from 1.6% in Q4.
China's GDP report for the fourth quarter, due on Friday, is likely to show that economic growth has stabilised, on the surface.
Japan's wage growth surprised us with a jump to 2.0% year-over-year in December, up from 1.5% in November.
Japan's regular wage growth continued to edge up in November, maintaining the rising trend. The headline is volatile, with growth in labour cash earnings rising to 0.9% year-over-year in November, up from a downwardly revised 0.2% in October.
Chinese data still are in the midst of Lunar New Year-related noise, so take February's PMIs with a pinch of salt, even though they ostensibly are adjusted for seasonal effects.
China's PPI inflation rose again in June, to 4.7%, from 4.1% in May.
Korea's unemployment rate plunged unexpectedly in August, to 3.2%--the lowest in a year--from 4.2% in July, defying expectations for no change and the renewed pressure on the economy from the second wave of Covid-19.
The Board of the Bank of Korea will meet again in less than a week's time for this year's penultimate meeting.
China concludes its annual Central Economic Work Conference today, where the economic targets and the agenda for next year are set.
Chinese PPI inflation dropped again in March to 3.1%, from February's 3.7%. Commodities were the driver, but base effects should mean the headline rate won't fall further in coming months; it is more likely to rise in Q2.
China's trade surplus jumped to a six-month high of $46.8B in December, from $37.6B in November, on the back of a strong increase in exports.
Industrial production in India turned around sharply in November, rising by 1.8% year-over-year, following October's 4.0% plunge and beating the consensus forecast for a trivial 0.3% uptick.
The Japanese government's plan to smooth out the consumption cliff-edge generated by October's sales tax hike is either going too well, or consumers now are facing fundamental headwinds.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI was unchanged at 51.0 in October, continuing the sideways trend this year.
Holiday effects are tedious and you are going to hear us talking about them until the March data come through.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea voted unanimously last week to keep the benchmark base rate unchanged, at 0.50%.
Korean trade activity is slowing.
Korea's preliminary Q4 GDP report was stronger than nearly all forecasters, including ourselves, expected.
Korean 20-day exports are volatile and often miss the mark with respect to the full-month print. But these data offer the month's first look at Asian trade, and we often find value in these early signs.
China's September imports missed expectations, but commentators and markets tend to focus on the year-over-year numbers.
The past two days have seen a slew of data that should keep the hawks in the Bank of Korea at bay during the Board's meeting at the end of this month.
GDP growth in Korea surprised to the upside in the fourth quarter, with the economy expanding by 1.2% quarter-on-quarter, three times as fast as in Q3, and the biggest increase in nine quarters.
China's official real GDP growth likely slowed to 6.0% year-over-year in Q3, from 6.2% in Q2.
China's money and credit data continued to firm up in September, boding well for the economy's medium- to-long run growth prospects.
The Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Korea yesterday left its benchmark base rate unchanged, at 1.50%.
To avoid rocking the 2020 boat, the Phase One trade deal needed to be sufficiently vague, so that neither side, and particularly Mr. Trump, would have much cause to kick up a fuss around missed targets.
The BoJ is likely to be thankful next week for a relatively benign environment in which to conduct its monetary policy meeting.
An inverted curve is a widely recognised signal that a recession is around the corner, though it's worth remembering that the lags tend to be long.
Governor Kuroda has sounded increasingly dovish recently.
Rapidly increasing food inflation is creating all sorts of dilemmas for policymakers in Asia's giants.
Asia H1 2019 Outlook
In one line: Expect one more cut, as the BoK mulls implicit forms of QE and YCC
China Takes the Trade High Road..The BOJ will Act Before Markets Expect Unemployment Upshift Rules out 2018 BOK Hike
Back to 2014/2015 for China? A Weak Q3 for Japan, After Rocket-Charged Q2...The BOK Will Kick Its Rate Hike Into the Long Grass
China's first recourse: Secure a trade deal...The boj is reticent to join the chorus of doves...The bok won't blink, green shoots are evident...India's Q1 was poor, but rbi cuts are overkill
After June respite, China will hit Q3 headwinds...Japan probably dodged a Q2 GDP contraction...The BOK's surprise cut in July is a one-and-done...The case for additional RBI cuts narrows further
August plunge in Korean unemployment is unsustainable, but should effectively rule out another BoK cut.
China's Stimulus Faces Q4 Hurdles...Japan Bounced Back in October but will it last?...Misplaced BoK Hopes for Stable Growth
Expecting one more cut from the BoK, as it mulls implicit forms QE and YCC
In one line: Expect one more cut, as the BoK mulls implicit forms of QE and YCC
Is This Really The Recovery For China?...Japan Catches A Cold;...Q1 Will Be Poor, But The BOK Is Set For A Long Pause
China's consensus-beating Q2 GDP signals that it is done easing. Chinese industry drove the Q2 rebound... now comes the hard part. The recovery in manufacturing capex in China continues to disappoint. The upward momentum in China's property market is unlikely to last. The BoK held, but Governor Lee's rhetoric suggests it should've cut.
Household debt forced the BoK toward targeted measures and away from a system-wide cut
Second wave opens the door for another BoK rate cut; All is not well under the hood of Chinese profits; Japan's full all-industry data point to a downgrade to Q2 GDP
Steady Q4 GDP growth in China masks respectable q/q rebound. Signs of recovery in China's industrial complex, but for how long? China's households continue to struggle. China's FAI growth shows rebuilding confidence around the Phase One deal. Japan's November tertiary index suggests October plunge was more tax than typhoon. January sees the first of many BoK "holds" this year.
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