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371 matches for " chinese":
The Chinese activity data published yesterday were much weaker than expected; growth rates fell resoundingly. Did analysts really get it wrong, or is this just another example of erratic Chinese data?
Chinese headline industrial profits data show that growth slowed to just 4.1% year-over-year in September, from 9.2% in August.
The Chinese activity data published yesterday were a mixed bag, with headline retail sales and production weakening, while FAI growth was stable. We compile our own indices for all three, to crosscheck the official versions.
Following Chinese retaliation against new U.S. tariffs last week, the U.S. responded last night, as promised, setting in train the process to slap tariffs on the remaining approximately $300B of imports from China.
Chinese PPI inflation surprised analysts with a sharp rebound to 6.3% in August, from 5.5% in July, above the consensus, 5.7%.
The President's threat to impose tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods on September 1 might yet come to nothing.
In previous Monitors, we have outlined our base case that the direct impact of tariffs on Chinese GDP will be minimal this year.
Wednesday's money data confirmed that Chinese households have continued to borrow into Q2 but at a slower rate than in 2016. The slowdown will really set in during the second half, and into 2018. Households have done a sterling job of taking over the borrowing baton from corporates, but they can't do everything.
Chinese residential property prices appear to be staging a comeback, with new home prices rising 1.1% month-on-month in June, faster than the 0.8% increase in May.
Chinese GDP numbers always require a great deal of detective work, and yesterday's needed more than the norm; multiple rounds of revisions needed decoding.
Take China's data dump last Friday with a pinch of salt, as Chinese New Year--CNY-- effects look to have distorted January's money and price data.
Chinese industrial profits growth rose to 16.7% year-on-year in May, from 14.0% in April. But this headline is highly misleading. Profits growth data are about as cyclical as they come so taking one point in the year and looking back 12 months is very arbitrary. Moreover, the data are very volatile over short periods.
Industrial profits growth is closely watched by the Chinese authorities, even more so now that deleveraging is a prime policy aim.
Chinese CPI inflation trends point to diminishing wage growth, as the services sector begins to struggle with the influx of labour displaced by the industrial productivity drive.
Overall, the Chinese October data paint a picture of continued weakness in trade, with PPI inflation still high but the rate of increase finally slowing.
Chinese PPI inflation fell to 4.9% in December, from 5.8% in November. The decline was expected, but underneath the slowdown in commodity price inflation, the rate of increase of manufacturing goods prices is slowing sharply too.
Chinese PPI inflation was unchanged at 5.5% in July; it had been expected to rise modestly. Officially, inflation peaked at 7.8% in February, but we think this peak was artificially high, thanks to seasonal effects. The slowing in PPI inflation since the peak appears to suggest that monthly price gains have slowed sharply. We find little evidence to support this.
China has undoubtedly been through a credit tightening, commonly explained as the PBoC attempting to engineer a squeeze, to spur on corporate deleveraging.
The Caixin services PMI jumped sharply to 53.9 in December from 51.9 in November. All the PMIs picked up significantly, but we find this hard to believe and suspect seasonality is to blame, though the adjustment is tricky.
The economic slowdown in China is old news for Eurozone investors.
Industrial production growth in China appears to be stabilising, following the slowdown in Q2.
Yesterday's announcement that the administration plans to imposes tariffs worth about $60B per year -- thatìs 0.3% of GDP -- on an array of imports of consumer goods from China is a serious escalation.
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.
Korean real GDP growth slumped in Q2 to 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, from 1.1% in Q1, as both the main drivers--construction and exports--ran out of steam simultaneously. Construction investment grew by 1.0%, sharply slower than the 6.8% in Q1 and contributing just 0.2% to GDP growth in Q2, a turnaround from the 1.1 percentage point contribution in the first quarter.
China's money and credit data released last Friday reaffirm our impression that the tightening has gone too far.
The imposition of 25% tariffs on $50B-worth of imports from China, announced Friday, had been clearly flagged in media reports over the previous couple of weeks.
China's authorities recognised, around the middle of this year, that activity was slowing and that monetary conditions had become overly tight.
China's service sector slowed again in June, with the Caixin PMI falling to 51.6 from 52.8 in May. The Q2 average of 52.0 was only minimally lower than the 52.6 in Q1.
China's unadjusted trade surplus collapsed in February, to just $4.1B, from $39.2B in January.
Monetary policy loosening over the last year implies that China's M1 growth already should be picking up.
China's headline trade numbers appear to paint a picture of an economy in rude health but scratch the surface and the story is quite different. The trade surplus rose to$42.8B in June from $40.8B in May, hitting consensus.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI rebounded to 51.1 in July from 50.4 in June, soundly beating the consensus for no change. The PMIs are seasonally adjusted but the data are much less volatile on our adjustment model. On our adjustment, the headline has averaged 50.9 so far this year, modestly higher than in the second half of last year.
Yesterday's price data for China showed continued declines in both CPI and PPI inflation.
On the official gauge, China's real GDP growth fell minimally to 6.8% year-on-year in Q3, from 6.9% in Q2. Growth edged down to 1.7% quarter-on-quarter from an upwardly revised 1.8% in Q2.
Industrial profits in China dropped 3.7% year-over- year in April, after surging 13.9% in March, according to the officially reported data.
The external environment was relatively benign for China in July. The euro and yen appreciated as markets began to question how long policy can remain on their current emergency settings.
After three days of jaw-dropping actions from President Trump, the position seems to be this: The U.S. will apply 15% tariffs on imported Chinese consumer goods, rather than the previously promised 10%, effective in two stages on September 1 and December 15.
Chinese New Year effects were very visible in Japan's December trade data. Export growth slowed sharply to 9.3% year-over-year in December, from 16.2% in November.
Two major themes emerged from the Chinese Party Congress last week, namely, further opening of the financial sector to foreigners, and the threat of a Minsky moment.
As promised, Mr. Trump retaliated earlier this week against China's weekend retaliation, after his refusal to back down on the initial tariffs on $50B-worth of imports of Chinese goods, on top of the steel and aluminium tariffs first announced back in March.
The China Daily ran an article entitled "Beijing, nation get breath of fresh air" on the day Chinese GDP figures were published last week, underlining where the authorities' priorities now lie.
The PBoC managed to keep interest rates well- anchored around the Chinese New Year holiday, when volatility is often elevated.
A trade deal with China is in sight. President Trump tweeted Sunday that the planned increase in tariffs on $200B of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, due March 1, has been deferred--no date was specified-- in light of the "substantial progress" in the talks.
Expectations that the ECB will respond to weakening growth in China with Additional stimulus mean that survey data will be under particular scrutiny this week. The consensus thinks the Chinese manufacturing PMI--released overnight--will remain weak, but advance PMIs in the Eurozone should confirm that the cyclical recovery remained firm in Q3. We think the composite PMI edged slightly lower to 54.0 in September from 54.3 in August, consistent with real GDP growth of about 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q3.
Chinese industrial profits continue to surge, rising 27.7% year-over-year in September, up from 24.0% in August.
Bloomberg reported on Monday that the PBoC is drafting a package of reforms to give foreign investors greater access to the China's financial services sector. This could involve allowing foreign institutions to control their local joint ventures and raising the 25% ceiling on foreign ownership of Chinese banks.
Mr. Trump's partial U-turn on September tariffs shows some semblance of an understanding of reality...that's a good thing. China's industrial production crushes June hopes of a swift recovery. Chinese consumers struggle. Chinese FAI: the infrastructure industry growth slowdown is especially worrying. Japan's strong core machine orders rebound in June probably faded in recent weeks. Korea's jobless rate will soon creep back up after remaining steady in July.
PPI deflation should soon trough. Chinese food inflation takes off. Japan's tertiary index points to strong Q3 GDP growth.
Tokyo inflation had further to fall in September than the national gauge. Some positive stories in Chinese industrial profits despite the gloomy headline.
A growing number of economists have marked down their forecasts for Chinese growth next year to below the critical 6% year-over-year rate, required to ensure that the authorities meet their implicit medium- term growth targets.
This Monitor provides a summary of the main points of interest over the two weeks we were out. The Chinese Caixin manufacturing PMI, published last Friday, confounded expectations for a modest fall, rising to 51.6 in August from 51.1 in July.
President Trump made official his plan to impose tariffs on up to $60B of annual imports from China, as well as limitations on Chinese investments in the U.S.
The Chinese Communist Party revealed the new members of its top brass yesterday, with the line-up ensuring policy continuity.
In yesterday's Monitor, we laid out how conditions last year were conducive to Chinese deleveraging, and how the debt ratio fell for the first time since the financial crisis.
Was this an isolated occurrence, connected to the graft investigation into Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua, and his financial conglomerate?
Yesterday's IFO report reinforced the message from the PMIs that the Eurozone economy stumbled slightly at the beginning of the first quarter. The headline business climate index fell to an 11-month low of 107.3 in January, from a revised 108.6 in December, hit mainly by a drop in the expectations component. Intensified market volatility and worries over further weakness in the Chinese economy likely were the main drivers. Last week's dovish message from Mr. Draghi, however, came after the survey's cut-off date, leaving us cautiously optimistic for a rebound next month.
In this Monitor, befitting these uncertain times, we set out the decision tree facing Chinese policymakers.
Yesterday's Chinese PMI numbers disappointed forecasts across the board, failing to meet widespread expectations for either stability or a continued, albeit marginal, improvement in April.
Chinese monetary policymakers can rely on several different instruments to affect market and broad liquidity, ranging from various forms of open market operations to interest rates to FX intervention. The tool kit is constantly changing as the PBoC refines its operations.
Chinese exports grew by just 5.5% in dollar terms year-over-year in August, down from 7.2% in July. Export growth continues to trend down, with a rise of just 0.2% in RMB terms in the three months to August compared to the previous three months, significantly slower than the 4.8% jump at the p eak in January.
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.
Chinese M1 growth has slowed sharply in the past year from the 25% rates prevailing in the first half of last year. Growth appeared to rebound in July to 15.3% year-over-year, from 15.0% in June. But the rebound looks erratic. Instead, growth has probably slowed slightly less sharply in 2017 than the official data suggest, but the downtrend continues.
The relatively upbeat message from a plethora of Eurozone data this week remains firmly sidelined by chaos in equity and credit markets. EZ Equities struggled towards the end of last year in the aftermath of the disappointing ECB stimulus package, and now, renewed weakness in oil prices and further Chinese currency devaluation have added pressure, by refocusing attention on already weak areas in the global economy.
The Chinese trade surplus was reasonably stable on our seasonal adjustment in September, falling to $27.5B from $29.7B in August.
Inflation in the Eurozone jumped in December, and will surge further in Q1 as base effects from last year's crash in oil prices push energy inflation higher. Higher inflation in the U.S. and surging Chinese factory gate prices indicate that this isn't just a Eurozone story.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday released a list of Chinese imports, with an annual value of $200B, on which it is threatening to impose a 10% tariff, after a two-month consultation period.
Last week's events highlighted the seriously challenging global environment for LatAm equities and currencies. Trading in Chinese shares was stopped twice early last week, after falls greater than 7% of the CSI 300 index reverberated around the world. Markets were calmer on Friday but the volatility nevertheless reminded investors that LatAm's economies are floating in rough waters and their resilience will be put to the test again this year. The Fed's policy normalization, the unwinding of the leverage in EM, the continued slowdown of the Chinese economy, low commodity prices and currency depreciation are all real threats across the continent.
Are there any signs of a Chinese recovery yet? Freya Beamish discusses
Official Chinese real GDP growth likely slipped to 6.3% year-over-year in Q1, the lowest on record, from 6.4% in Q4, which matched the trough in the Great Financial Crisis.
Chinese policymakers' calls to abandon the obsession with high GDP growth--GDPism--are multiplying.
The imposition of 10% tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese imports is not a serious threat either to U.S. economic growth--the tariffs amount to 0.1% of GDP--or inflation.
Chinese official headline data paint a picture of a strengthening economy in Q2. Our analysis shows a sharply contrasting picture. China's nominal GDP, real GDP and deflators are often internally inconsistent.
President Trump blinked again yesterday, delaying tariffs on some $150B-worth of Chinese consumer goods until December 15.
As we head to press, investors are holding their breath over whether today's trade talks between the U.S. and China will be enough for Mr. Trump to step back from his pledge to increase tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods to 25%.
Last week, the Chinese authorities were out in force, talking up the economy and markets, and bearing measures to support private firms.
The escalation in the U.S.-Chinese trade wars has understandably pushed EZ economic data firmly into the background while we have been resting on the beach.
Chinese April retail sales growth slowed sharply in value terms, to 9.4% year-over-year, from 10.1% in March.
Chinese industrial profits growth officially edged down to 25.1% year-over-year in October, from 27.7% in September. This is still very rapid but we think the official data are overstating the true rate of growth.
Stories of Chinese ghost cities are plentiful and alarming. The aggregate data present a startling picture. Between 2012 and 2015, China started around six billion square meters of residential floorspace but sold only around five billion.
The headline Chinese trade numbers are beginning to come into line with the story we have been telling about the more recent trends.
Defaults by Chinese companies have been on the rise lately. Most recently, China Energy, an oil and gas producer with $1.8B of offshore notes outstanding, missed a bond payment earlier this week. We've highlighted the likelihood of a rise in defaults this year, for three main reasons.
Chinese monetary conditions have tightened sharply in the past year. Conditions have stabilised in recent months but Fed policy normalisation implies the increase in the money stock should slow again in 2018.
Chinese M2 growth was stable at 8.3% year- over-year in May, despite favorable base effects.
Chinese PPI inflation continued to rise sharply in September, jumping to 6.9% from 6.3% in August. Our initial reaction to the data was that this was an overshoot after inflation was understated in Q2, thanks to seasonal effects.
Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses the Chinese economy.
Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, and Christian Schulz, economics team director at Citigroup, discuss President Donald Trump's trade tariffs and their impact on the Chinese and U.S. economies.
Rapidly increasing food inflation is creating all sorts of dilemmas for policymakers in Asia's giants.
Data on Friday showed that German producer price inflation is now in free-fall.
Economic sentiment data, which rebounded in March, continue to suggest slight downside risk to EZ GDP growth in Q1. The composite Eurozone PMI in March rose modestly to 53.7 from 53.0 in February, only partially erasing the weakness in recent months. The PMI dipped slightly over the quarter as a whole, although not enough to change the EZ GDP forecast in a statistically meaningful way.
Back on May 14, we argued--see here--that the stars were aligned to generate very strong second quarter GDP growth, perhaps even reaching 5%.
In April last year, something odd happened in the FX market.
The PBoC hiked its 7-day reverse repo rate by 5bp yesterday, stating that the move was a response to the latest Fed hike.
Yesterday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that headline inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in September.
Japan's manufacturing PMI rose to 53.3 in April, from 53.1 in March. The index weakened earlier this year, but remained at levels unjustified by the hard data.
It's hard to read the minutes of the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting as anything other than a statement of the Fed's intent to do nothing for some time yet.
Japanese policymakers will have been scouring yesterday's data for signs that the trade situation is improving.
Money and credit data released last weekend suggest that China's demand for credit remains insatiable.
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.
Over the next 18 months we expect to see interest rates break out further on the upside. Initially, we expect developed market growth to be resilient to that.
Nothing is done until it's done, and, in the case of Sino-U.S. trade talks, even if a deal is reached, the new normal is that tensions will be bubbling in the background.
Japan's CPI inflation has risen sharply in recent months, driven by non-core elements. The headline faces cross-currents in coming months, but should remain high, posing problems for BoJ policy.
We're braced for a hefty downside surprise in today's durable goods orders numbers, thanks to a technicality.
Japanese data continue to come in strongly for the second quarter. The manufacturing PMI points to continued sturdy growth, despite the headline index dipping to 52.0 in June from 53.1 in May. The average for Q2 overall was 52.6, almost unchanged from Q1's 52.8, signalling that manufacturing output growth has maintained its recent rate of growth.
The past year has been difficult for Asian economies, with trade wars, natural disasters, and misguided policies, to name a few, putting a dampener on growth.
The PBoC cut the reserve requirement ratio by 0.5pp for almost all banks on Sunday, effective from July 5th.
Markets cheered soaring business surveys in the Eurozone earlier this week, and recent consumer sentiment data also have been cause for celebration. The advance GfK consumer confidence index in Germany rose to a record high of 10.4 in June, from 10.2 in May.
Advance PMI data indicate a slow start to the first quarter for the Eurozone economy. The composite index fell to 53.5 in January from 54.3 in December, due to weakness in both services and manufacturing. The correlation between month-to-month changes in the PMI and MSCI EU ex-UK is a decent 0.4, and we can't rule out the ide a that the horrible equity market performance has dented sentiment. The sudden swoon in markets, however, has also led to fears of an imminent recession. But it would be a major overreaction to extrapolate three weeks' worth of price action in equities to the real economy.
We believe China is going through a paradigm shift in its economic policy, away from GDPism-- the obsession with GDP growth targeting--to environmentalism, setting widespread environmental targets on everything, from air to water to waste.
New home price growth in China has held up longer than we expected.
In his opening speech at the Party Congress, President Xi received warm applause for his comment that houses are "for living in, not for speculation".
PMI data yesterday provided some relief to anxious investors, despite a modest drop in the headline. The composite PMI in the Eurozone fell to 53.9 in September from 54.3 in August, driven by slight falls in both manufacturing and services. Assuming no major changes to the advance September reading--usually a fair bet--the PMI rose marginally in Q3, pointing to a continuation of the cyclical recovery.
Last week's data added yet more weight to our view that manufacturing is in deep trouble, and that the bottom has not yet been reached.
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.
We suspect that under the calm surface of the BoJ, a major decision is being debated.
China's growth can be decomposed into the structural story and the mini-cycle, which is policy- driven.
Mr. Trump laid out plans yesterday to impose a new 10% tariff on a further $200B-worth of imports from China, to be levied from next week.
Inflation in the Eurozone stumbled at the end of Q3.
Holiday effects are tedious and you are going to hear us talking about them until the March data come through.
The PBoC's reformed one-year Loan Prime Rate was published yesterday at 4.25%, compared with 4.31% on the previous LPR, and below the benchmark lending rate, 4.35%.
Mr. Abe yesterday called a snap general election, to be held on October 22nd; more on this in tomorrow's Monitor. For now, note that the election comes at a reasonably good stage of the economic cycle, hot on the heels of very rapid GDP growth in Q2, while the PMIs indicate that the economy remained healthy in Q3.
Forecasting BoJ policy for this year is trickier than it has been in a long time.
Today's data dump will deliver the advance PMIs and the French INSEE business sentiment indices for February, all of which will be examined closely for signs of stabilisation in the wake of recent evidence that EZ growth is slowing quicker than markets and the ECB have been expecting.
We're expecting to learn today that existing home sales rose quite sharply in July, perhaps reaching the highest level since early 2018.
Our forecast of significantly higher core inflation over the next year has been met, it would be fair to say, with a degree of skepticism.
The case for expecting a robust January jobs number is strong, but it is not without risks.
House price inflation in tier-one cities has been crushed by China's most recent monetary tightening. This is a sharp turnaround from the overheating mid-way through last year. Unlike in previous cycles, interest rates are probably more important for house prices than broad money growth.
EURUSD has been battered in recent months, falling just over 6% since the end of April, but almost all indicators we look at suggest that the it will weake further towards 1.10, in the second half of the year.
The PBoC late on Wednesday announced measures to provide medium-term funding for smaller businesses.
The recent sell-off in Treasuries has not yet reached significant proportions.
Final PMI data in the Eurozone yesterday confirmed that manufacturing remains under pressure from global headwinds. The manufacturing PMI in the zone fell to 52.0 in September from 52.3 in August, in line with the initial estimate. A rare upside surprise in France was not enough to offset weakness in the other major economies, and the trend in private investment growth likely will stay subdued this year.
The Chilean economy improved in the first quarter, growing 2.0% year-over-year, up from 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Net trade led the improvement, with exports rising 2.1% quarter-on-quarter, thanks to the modest rise in metal prices and an increase in exports of services, especially tourism.
China's manufacturing PMI posted a surprise, albeit trivial, increase in February, to 51.6 up from 51.5 in January.
Last month was sobering month for equity investors in the Eurozone, and indeed in the global economy as a whole.
It's been a sobering couple of months in the Eurozone economy.
The startling jump in the Philly Fed index in May, when it rose 11.2 points to a 12-month high, seemed at first sight to be a response to fading tensions over global trade.
The PBoC announced on Saturday that it will publish a new Loan Prime Rate, from today, following a State Council announcement last Friday.
Korean trade activity is slowing.
While we were away, EM growth prospects and risk appetite deteriorated significantly, due mainly to rising geopolitical risks, weaker economic prospects for DM, and, in particular, the most recent chapter of the global trade war.
The latest trade data from Korea underscore the unfortunate timing of the resumption of the U.S.-China tit-for-tat tariff war.
The first estimate of retail sales growth in August was weaker than implied by the Redbook chainstore sales survey, but our first chart shows that the difference between the numbers was well within the usual margin of error.
It's going to be very hard for Fed Chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech today to satisfy markets, which now expect three further rate cuts by March next year.
Germans head to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the national parliament. The media has tried to keep investors on alert for a surprise, but polls indicate clearly that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor.
Japan's all-industry activity index fell 0.5% month-on- month in September after a 0.2% rise in August. Construction activity continued to plummet, with the subindex dropping 2.3%, after a 2.2% fall in August.
Korea's preliminary export numbers rebounded quite spectacularly in June, with growth at 24.4% year-on-year, compared with just 3.4% in May. This reading is important as it comes early in the monthly data cycle. Korea's position close to the beginning of the global supply chain, moreover, means its exports often lead shifts in global trade.
With Fed officials now in pre-FOMC meeting blackout mode, this week will not bring a repeat of Friday's confusion, when the New York Fed felt obligated to issue a clarification following president William's speech on monetary policy close to the zero bound.
Producer prices in Germany rose 0.4% month-to-month in May, stronger than the consensus expectation of a 0.3% gain, and we think further upside surprises are likely in coming months. The headline was boosted by a 0.7% jump in energy prices, but food and manufacturing goods prices also rose.
We've had pushback from readers over our take on the likelihood of a trade deal with China in the near future.
The spike in the May core CPI, and its likely echo in the core PCE, won't stop the Fed easing at the end of this month.
Incoming data confirm our view that the Chilean economy to rebound steadily in the second half of the year, with real GDP increasing 1.5% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, after a relatively modest 0.9% increase in Q2 and a meagre 0.1% in Q1.
Exports rebounded sharply in Q3 so far, after the Q2 weakness. This will be a useful boost to GDP growth in Q3, as domestic demand likely will soften.
China is a collection of hugely disparate provinces and cities. Managing all these cities with one interest rate is always difficult but in this cycle it is proving to be nearly impossible.
Yesterday's Japanese activity data were grim.
Yesterday's partial trade data for Korea showed that the downturn in exports softened to -13.3% year-over-year in August from -13.8% in July, based on the 20-day gauge.
Our colleagues have been telling some unpleasant stories recently.
Japanese retail sales were unchanged in October month-on-month, after a 0.8% rise in September.
Yesterday's Brazilian industrial production data continue to tell a story of a slow business cycle upturn. Output rose 0.2% month-to-month in November, after a downwardly revised 1.2% plunge in October. The year-over-year rate, though, jumped to -1.1%, from -7.3% in October. The underlying trend is now on the mend, following weakness in Q3 and early Q4. Output rose in November three of the four major categories and in 13 of the 24 sectors.
The Nikkei services PMI for Japan partly rebounded in January, to 51.6, after it fell sharply to 51.0 in December.
We've always said that China's first weapon, should the trade war escalate, is to do nothing and allow the RMB to depreciate.
On the face of it, the Caixin services PMI was unremarkable in May, unchanged at 52.9.
Labor demand appears to have remained strong through August, so we expect to see a robust ADP report today.
China's unadjusted current account was effectively in balance in Q2, after the deficit in Q1.
Always expect the unexpected in a bonus month for Japanese wages.
The meta game between China and Mr. Trump started as soon as he had any possibility of winning the election in 2016.
Labor demand, as measured by an array of business surveys, clearly slowed from the cycle peak, recorded late last year.
The key data originally scheduled for today--ADP employment and the ISM non-manufacturing survey, and the revised Q3 productivity and unit labor costs-- have been pushed to Thursday because the federal government will be closed for the National Day of Mourning for president George H. W. Bush.
We have been telling an upbeat story about the EZ economy in recent Monitors, emphasizing solid services and consumers' spending data.
We very much doubt that Fed Chair Powell dramatically changed his position last week because President Trump repeatedly, and publicly, berated him and the idea of further increases in interest rates.
The Caixin services PMI ticked down to 53.6 in January, from 53.9 in December.
China's National People's Congress is set to convene its annual meeting next week.
The June ISM manufacturing index signalled clearly that the industrial recovery continues, with the headline number rising to its highest level since August 2014, propelled by rising orders and production. But the industrial economy is not booming and the upturn likely will lose a bit of momentum in the second half as the rebound in oil sector capex slows.
China last week banned unlicensed micro-lending and put a ceiling on borrowing costs for the sector, in an effort to curtail the spiralling of consumer credit.
In terms of one-day moves, the drop in U.S. equities yesterday and Asian equities in the past two days has been pretty bad.
Small business sentiment and activity, as reported by the NFIB survey, has recovered exactly half the drop triggered by the rollover in stock prices in the fourth quarter. This matters, because most people work at small firms, which are responsible for the vast bulk of net job growth.
China's official manufacturing PMI slipped in June, but the overall picture for Q2 is sound despite the uncertainty posed by rising trade tensions with the U.S.
The first round of trade talks between the U.S.and China kicked off in Beijing on Monday, marking the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping struck a "truce" in December.
China's trade surplus collapsed unexpectedly in April, to $13.8B, from a trivially-revised $32.4B in March.
Fed Chair Powell did not specify how many bills the Fed will buy in order boost bank reserves sufficiently to remove the strain in funding markets, but we'd expect to see something of the order of $500B.
Both China and U.S. look for good will on opposite side and find none; political and economic constraints will soon kick in. BoJ QE remains neutralised by negative yields
Yesterday's ECB policy decision was a carbon copy of the announcement in July. The central bank maintained its key refinancing rate at 0.00%, and also kept its deposit and marginal lending facility rates unchanged at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively. The ECB also kept the pace of QE unchanged at €80B per month. Finally, the central bank refrained from formally extending QE.
China's trade surplus tumbled to $20.3B in January, from $54.7B in December, surprising the consensus for little change.
China's export data shows little impact from trade tensions so far.
Japanese labour cash earnings data threw analysts another curveball in July, falling 0.3% year-over-year. At the same time, June earnings are now said to have risen by 0.4%, compared with a fall of 0.4% in the initial print.
All regulators face the challenge that when you regulate one part of the economy, problems appear somewhere else. For China, the game is particularly intense because liquidity created by previous debt binges continues to slosh around the financial system, with no outlet to the real economy.
Yesterday's manufacturing data in German threw off a nasty surprise.
Japanese firms hand out a significant portion of labour compensation through bonuses, with the largest lump awarded in December.
China's trade numbers for July surprised to the upside, with both exports and imports faring better than consensus forecasts in year-over-year terms.
Geopolitical tensions have risen sharply for Asia in the last few months, yet the RMB has appreciated sharply. China's currency appears to be playing some kind of safe haven role.
China hit back against the Trump-administration tariffs yesterday, targeting Mr. Trump's electorate.
While we were out, most of the core domestic economic data were quite strong, with the exception of the soft July home sales numbers and the Michigan consumer sentiment survey.
The agreement between Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20 is a deferment of disaster rather than a fundamental rebuilding of the trading relationship between the U.S. and China.
Concern over individual freedoms was the spark for Hong Kong's recent demonstrations and troubles, and protesters' demands continue to be political in nature.
The PBoC doesn't publicly schedule its meetings, but in recent years has tended to make moves after Fed decisions.
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 Caixin manufacturing PMI picked up to 51.5 in December from 50.8 in November. But the jump looks erratic and we expect it to correct in January.
China's Caixin manufacturing PMI doused hopes of turning over a January new leaf; it dropped to 49.7 in November, from 50.2 in December.
The Manufacturing Upswing Continues; no Sign of Weakening
Data to be released this Friday should show that Japan's labour market remains tight, though the unemployment rate likely ticked back up in February, to 2.6%, after the erratic drop to 2.4% in January.
Money supply growth in the Eurozone rebounded slightly last month, reversing some of the weakness at the start of the year.
Since the Party Congress last month, China has made a number of bold moves in multiple policy fields, with a regularity that almost implies the authorities are working through a list.
In yesterday's Monitor, we outlined how the government's plans to allow more migrants to register in cities could help counterbalance the effects of aging and put a floor under medium-term property prices.
The Fed is on course to hike again in December, with 12 of the 16 FOMC forecasters expecting rates to end the year 25bp higher than the current 2-to-21⁄4%; back in June, just eight expected four or more hikes for the year.
China's finance minister Liu Kun provided his report on China's current fiscal situation to the legislature last Friday.
Data and events have gone against the idea of further BoK policy normalisation since the November hike.
We were happy to see upside surprises from both sides of the domestic economy yesterday, but we doubt that the August readings from both the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey and the Richmond Fed business survey can hold.
We expect China's quarterly real GDP growth in the second quarter to edge down from Q1, but only because Q1 growth was unsustainable. The official data shows real GDP growth at 1.3% quarter-onquarter in Q1.
The sharp fall in China's manufacturing PMI in May makes clear that its recovery is nowhere near secured.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI for January was grim, indicating that China's start to the year wasn't as benign as the official surveys suggested.
The upside to manufacturing survey data in the Eurozone appears endless.
LatAm, particularly Mexico, has dealt with Donald Trump's presidency better than expected thus far. Indeed, the MXN rose 10.7% against the USD in Q1, the stock market has recovered after its initial post-Trump plunge, and risk metrics have eased significantly.
Let's say we are right, and global yields go up this year. Somewhere in the world, imbalances will be exposed, causing financial ructions and damaging GDP growth.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI was steady in May, at 50.2, in contrast to the official gauge published on Friday, which dropped to 49.5, from April's 50.2.
We have argued for some time that much of the early phase of the downturn in global manufacturing was due to the weakening of China's economic cycle, rather than the trade war.
China's current account surplus was revised down last week to $46.2B in Q2, from $57.0B in the preliminary data, marking a dip from $49.0B in Q1.
Neither the strength in October consumption nor the softness of core PCE inflation, reported yesterday, are sustainable.
Japan's July adjusted trade surplus rebounded to ¥337.4B from ¥87.3B in June, far above consensus. On our seasonal adjustment, the rebound is slightly smaller but only because we saw less of a drop in June.
After a week--yes, a whole week!--with no significant new developments in the trade war with China--it's worth stepping back and asking a couple of fundamental questions, which might give us some clues as to what will happen over the months ahead.
The Asian PMIs point to a strengthening manufacturing sector in September but external demand is the driver.
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.
China's official PMIs for January, due out tomorrow, will give the first indications of how the economy started the year.
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.
The biggest single surprise in the second quarter GDP report was the unexpected $28B real-terms drop in inventories.
It's pretty clear now that the President is not a reliable guide to what's actually happening in the China trade war, or what will happen in the future.
Our default position for core durable goods orders over the next few months is that they will fall, sharply.
Today brings the April PPI data, which likely will show core inflation creeping higher, with upward pressure in both good and services. The upside risk in the goods component is clear enough, as our first chart shows.
Business investment in Japan took a nasty hit in the third quarter.
Japan's official seasonally adjusted current account surplus rose to ¥2.27T in August from ¥2.03T in July. But we don't trust the seasonals, and our adjustment model shows the surplus fell slightly, to ¥1.91T in August. A further small decline likely is coming in Q4.
The border security agreement between the U.S. and Mexico has strengthened hopes that the Sino- U.S. trade war will end soon.
France is solidifying its position as one of the Eurozone's best-performing economies.
China's August foreign trade data were nasty, on the face of it, with exports falling 1.0% year-over- year, after the 3.3% increase in July.
Japanese PPI inflation rose sharply to 2.6% in July from 2.2% in June, well above the consensus for a modest rise.
China's trade surplus appears modestly to be rebuilding, edging up to $34.0B in November, on our adjustment, from $33.3B in October. The recent trough was $24.B, in March.
The August NFIB survey of activity and sentiment at small businesses was soft, but it could have been worse.
At the time of writing, Mr. Trump reportedly is finalising plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on a further $200B of imports from China.
Brazil's April CPI data this week showed that inflation pressures remain weak, supporting the BCB's focus on the downside risks to economic activity. Wednesday's report revealed that the benchmark IPCA inflation index rose 0.1% unadjusted month-to-month in April, marginally below market expectations.
Next week is a big one for China. The five yearly Party Congress opens on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the monthly raft of activity data is published, along with Q3 GDP.
Japan's GDP growth came roaring back in Q2, thanks to a strong rebound in private consumption, and an acceleration in business capex.
Monthly core CPI prints of 0.3% are unusual; June's was the first since January 2018, so it requires investigation.
The announcement, late Tuesday, that the administration plans to impose 10% tariffs on some $200B-worth of imports from China raises the prospect of a substantial hit to the CPI.
The PBoC will find itself between a rock and a hard place in the coming months, as CPI inflation creeps further up towards its 3% target but PPI deflation deepens.
The recent cyclical upturn in the EZ began in the first quarter of 2013. GDP growth has accelerated almost uninterruptedly for the last two years to 1.5% year-over-year in Q3, despite the Greek debt crisis and slower growth in emerging markets. Overall we think the recovery will continue with full-year GDP growth of about 1.6%. But we also think the business cycle is maturing, characterised by stable GDP growth and higher inflation, and we see the economy slowing next year.
China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange-- SAFE--yesterday refuted claims, made earlier in the week, that senior government officials had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasuries.
Since the protests in Hong Kong began, we've become increasingly convinced that China is backing away from a comprehensive trade deal with Mr. Trump.
After three straight 0.3% increases in the core CPI, we are in agreement with the consensus view that September's report, due today, will revert to the 0.2% trend.
The Fed shifted its stance significantly in June, so we're expecting only trivial changes in today's statement.
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.
The outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 summit was as good as we expected.
The outlook for Brazil's industrial economy is better than at any time since before the crisis. But data released this week highlighted that the recovery will be slow and bumpy.
Inflation data are known to defy economists' forecasts, but it should in principle b e straightforward to predict the cyclical path of EZ core inflation. It is the longest lagging indicator in the economy, and leading indicators currently signal that core inflation pressures are rising.
The worst is over for manufacturers, we think. The three major forces depressing activity in the sector last year--namely, the strong dollar, the slowdown in China, and the collapse in capital spending in the oil sector--will be much less powerful this year.
The upward revisions to real consumers' spending in the fourth quarter, coupled with the likelihood of a hefty rebound in spending on utility energy services, means first quarter spending ought to rise at a faster pace than the 2.2% fourth quarter gain. Spending on utilities was hugely depressed in November and December by the extended spell of much warmer-than-usual weather.
Investors are increasingly anxious that an intentional sharp devaluation of the renminbi, aiming to combat China's slowdown, might lead to prolonged deflation in the West, particularly in an economy as open as the U.K.
China's official manufacturing PMI implies a modest gain in momentum in Q2, at 51.4, compared with 51.0 on average in Q1.
Industrial output in Chile struggled late in the third quarter, falling 1.3% month-to-month in September. The year-over-year rate, calendar and seasonally adjusted, rose 2.4% in September, down from a revised 5.3% in August.
China's FX reserves rose to $3,062B in November, from $3,053B on October. On the face of it, the increase is surprising.
The two major central banks of Asia have chosen hugely divergent policies. The BoJ has chosen to fix interest rates, while the PBoC appears set on preventing a meaningful depreciation of the currency.
China's FX reserves were little changed in June, at $3,112B.
German exports had a sluggish start to the fourth quarter, falling 1.2% month-to-month in October. The monthly drop pushed the year-over-year rate down to 3.0% from 4.2% in September, well down from the 5.6% third quarter average and extending the loss of momentum in recent months. Imports fell 3.6%, so net exports rose, but it's too early to make any useful estimates of net trade in the fourth quarter as a whole.
China's FX reserves were relatively stable in March, with the minimal increase driven by currency valuation effects.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged, as expected, at its meeting yesterday.
On the heels of yesterday's benign Q3 employment costs data--wages rebounded but benefit costs slowed, and a 2.9% year-over-year rate is unthreatening--today brings the first estimates of productivity growth and unit labor costs.
While we were out, most of the action was on the political front, while the economic data mostly were unexciting.
Strong real M1 growth suggests the cyclical recovery is in good shape. But recent economic data indicate GDP growth slowed in Q4, and survey evidence deteriorated in January. This slightly downbeat message, however, is a far cry from the horror story told by financial markets. The recent collapse in stock-to-bond returns extends the decline which began in Q2 last year, signalling the Eurozone is on the brink of recession.
The most important retail sales report of the year, for December, won't be published today, unless some overnight miracle means that the government has re-opened.
The further improvement in labor market conditions and the jump in core inflation means that the economic data have given the Fed all the excuse it needs to raise rates today. But the chance of a hike is very small, not least because the fed funds future puts the odds of an action today at just 4%, and the Fed has proved itself very reluctant to surprise investors-- at least, in a bad way--in the past.
Your correspondent is headed to the beach for the next couple of weeks, with publication resuming on Tuesday, September 4.
Having panicked at the January hourly earnings numbers, markets now seem to have decided that higher inflation might not be such a bad thing after all, and stocks rallied after both Wednesday's core CPI overshoot and yesterday's repeat performance in the PPI.
Yesterday's wave of data suggested that a good part of the strength in final demand in the second quarter was sustained into the first month of this quarter, and perhaps the second too.
Japanese leading indicators point to a slowdown, and the trend over this volatile year is emerging as firmly downward.
China's September imports missed expectations, but commentators and markets tend to focus on the year-over-year numbers.
The surge in July core retail sales was flattered by the impact of the Amazon Prime Event, which helped drive a 2.8% leap in sales at nonstore retailers.
Peru's central bank kept the reference rate unchanged at 3.5% at Thursday's meeting, in line with our view and market expectations.
Japan's PPI inflation likely has peaked, with commodities still in the driving seat. Manufactured goods price inflation will soon start to slow, following the downshift in China's numbers.
China's activity data yesterday made pretty uncomfortable reading for policymakers.
As warned--see our Monitor April 7--economic data in the Eurozone disappointed while we were away. Industrial production, ex-construction, in the euro area slipped 0.3% month-to-month in February, and the January month-to-month gain was revised down by 0.6 percentage point to +0.3%.
We can't afford the luxury of believing China's year-over-year growth rates. Real GDP growth was 6.8% year-over-year in Q1, matching the rate in Q4 and Q3, and hitting consensus.
Manufacturing is in recession, with few signs yet that a floor is near, still less a recovery.
The GM strike will make itself felt in the September industrial production data, due today.
When economic historians look back at the bizarre trade war of 2018-to-19, we think they will see Tuesday June 4 as the turning point, after which the threats of fire and brimstone were taken much less seriously, and markets began to ponder life after tariffs.
Demand for new cars in the Eurozone bounced back strongly last month. Accelerating growth in the major economies lifted new registrations by 14.6% year-over-year in February, up from a 6.8% increase in January. Surging growth in Italy was a key driver, with new registrations jumping 27.3%, up from an already sizzling 17.4% in January.
Industrial production bounced back in February. These data point to a reprieve for old-guard dirty industry, after stringent anti-pollution curbs were put in place in Q4.
The New York Times called the China trade agreement reached Friday "half a deal", but that's absurdly generous.
Japanese domestic demand probably strengthened in Q2, with both private consumption and fixed investment accelerating. Trade and inventories are the key swing components for GDP growth.
China's industrial production grew at an annualised 7.2% rate by volume in Q1, according to our estimates, up from an average 5.9% rate in the six quar ters through mid-2016.
Peru's central bank, the BCRP, kept borrowing costs at 3.25% last week, surprising the consensus forecast for a 25bp increase. This was an unexpected move because inflation risks have not abated much since the previous meeting, when policymakers lifted rates for the third straight month.
Korean credit markets have begun tentatively to recover after the rise in global interest rates at the end of last year.
Korea's jobs report for August was a stonker, with unemployment plunging to 3.1%, from 4.0% in July, marking the lowest rate in more than five years.
Official, real GDP growth was low in Q1, at 1.4% quarter-on-quarter, down from 1.6% in Q4.
One of the main conclusions we drew from last week's ECB meeting was that the QE program is here to stay for a while. If the economy improves, the central bank could reduce the pace of purchases further. But we struggle to come up with a forecast for growth and inflation next year that would allow the ECB to signal that QE is coming to an end.
The third straight 0.3% increase in the core CPI-- that hasn't happened since 1995--was ignored by the Treasury market yesterday, which appeared to be focusing its attention on the ECB.
Yesterday, China finally retaliated against Mr. Trump's Friday tariff hikes, promising to increase tariffs on around $60B-worth of U.S. goods.
Data released earlier this week show that Japan's current account surplus continued its downtrend in October, falling to ¥1,404B, on our seasonal adjustment, from ¥1,494B in September.
Japan's 0.3% quarter-on quarter increase in Q4 GDP was disappointing, on the face of it, after a downwardly-revised 0.7% fall in Q3.
Markets are caught in a trade loop.
Manufacturers in the Eurozone stood tall mid-way through Q2, despite still-subdued leading indicators.
Eurozone manufacturers had an underwhelming start to Q4. Data yesterday showed that production fell 0.1% month-to-month in October, pushing the year-over-year rate down to 0.6%, from a revised 1.3% in September. Output was constrained mostly by weakness in France and a big month-to-month fall in Ireland, which offset marginal gains in Germany and Spain.
Last week's horrible manufacturing data in the major EZ economies had already warned investors that yesterday's industrial production report for the zone as a whole would be one to forget.
Japanese real Q2 GDP growth surprised analysts, increasing sharply to a quarterly annualised rate of 4.0%, up from 1.0% in Q1 and much higher than the consensus, 2.5%. But its no coincidence that the jump in Japanese growth follows strong growth in China in Q1.
Nobody has a monopoly on "the truth".
Investors anticipate a shift up in the MPC's hawkish rhetoric today. After August's consumer price figures showed CPI inflation rising to 2.9%--0.2 percentage points above the Committee's forecast--the market implied probabilities of a rate hike by the November and February meetings jumped to 35% and 60%, respectively, from 20% and 40%.
The holiday effects are at it again. C hina's trade balance dropped to a deficit of $5.0B in March, from a surplus of $33.5B in February, confounding expectations for a surplus of $27.5B.
China's GDP data--to be published on Monday-- are likely to report that growth slowed to 1.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, from 1.6% in Q3. A 1.4% increase would match the series low of Q1 2016.
Official industrial production growth in China plunged to 5.4% year-over-year in April, from 8.5% in March.
China's September trade numbers show that, far from reducing the surplus with the U.S., the trade wars so far have pushed it up to a new record.
In the last two months, we have suggested that monetary conditions have turned the corner, but have cautioned that Lunar New Year distortions make the March data critically important.
China's official PMIs paint a picture of robust momentum going into 2018 but we find this difficult to reconcile with the other data.
If the CPI measure of core consumer goods inflation were currently tracking the same measure in the PPI in the usual way, core CPI inflation would now be at 2.3%, rather than the 1.7% reported in November.
China's import growth in dollar terms slowed sharply to 4.5% year-over-year in December from 17.7% in November, significantly below the consensus forecast.
China's official manufacturing PMI, published on Monday, implies the industrial complex has maintained momentum going into Q3. The official manufacturing PMI moderated slightly to 51.4 in July from 51.7 in June. The July reading was unchanged from the average in Q2 and only modestly down from the 51.6 in Q1.
EZ investors hoping for a quiet session yesterday due to the U.K. bank holiday were left disappointed.
China's FX reserves rose to $3119B in November from $3109B in October. But the increase is explained by simultaneous yen, euro and sterling strength, which raises the dollar value of assets denominated in these currencies.
China's trade data looked more normal in April. The trade balance rebounded to a surplus of $28.8B in April, from a deficit of $5.0B in March. Exports also bounced back, rising 12.9% year-over-year in April, after a 2.7% decline in March.
The services sector in China is notoriously difficult to track, with the major aggregate statistics published only on a quarterly or even annual basis.
China's capex growth faces renewed challenges this year, as PPI inflation slows.
Yesterday's Caixin services PMI data complete the set for October.
After strong real GDP growth in Q1, China commentators called the peak, claiming that growth would slow for the rest of 2017.
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.
Chinese real GDP growth reportedly edged down to 6.7% year-over-year in Q2, from 6.8% in Q1.
In our daily Monitors we've talked about the four paths that we see for the Chinese economy over the medium-to-long term. First, China could make history and actively transition to private consumption-led growth.
The Chinese authorities have been out in force in the last few days, aiming to reassure markets and the populace that they are ready and able to support the economy, after abysmal trade data on Monday.
Chinese prices largely moved in line with our expectations in September, according to yesterday's data.
We had expected the batch of Chinese data released at the end of last week to disappoint.
Officially, Chinese real GDP growth was a sturdy 6.8% year-over-year in Q4, matching the Q3 rate, with full year growth at 6.9%.
Credit to the Chinese authorities for sticking it out with the marginal approach to easing for so long... at least two quarters.
We highlighted in previous reports that the Chinese authorities appear to be making a serious pivot from GDPism--the rigid targeting of real GDP growth-- toward environmentalism, with pollution targets now taking centre stage.
The imposition of tariffs on a further $200B-worth of Chinese imports is not a game-changer on the U.S.
At the end of last year, after October's Party Congress, the Chinese authorities came out with significant new directives and regulations on an almost weekly basis.
Chinese monetary conditions show signs of a temporary stabilisation. M2 growth picked up to 9.1% year-over-year in November from 8.8% in October, though largely as a correction for understated growth in recent months.
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.
The return of Chinese PPI inflation in 2016 helped to stabilise equities after the boom-bust of the previous year.
Ignore the Chinese deflation panic......The cyclical recovery is on track, and inflation is rising
Chinese GDP Growth Won't Trough Until Q3...The Window For BOJ Adjustments Is Narrowing...Not Buying Into Korea's Consensus-Beating Q4 GDP
A reader sent us last week a series of five simple feedback loops, all of which ended with the Fed remaining "cautious". For example, in a scenario in which the dollar strengthens--perhaps because of stronger U.S. economic data--markets see an increased risk of a Chinese devaluation, which then pummels EM assets, making the Fed nervous about global growth risks to the domestic economy.
The re-emergence of Chinese PPI inflation in 2016 was instrumental in stabilising equities after the 2015 bubble burst.
In her inaugural Monitor, our Chief Asia Economist Freya Beamish plots three scenarios for the Chinese economy. The best-case scenario is that China makes a smooth transition to consumer-led growth.
Chinese monetary conditions remain tight. Systemic tightening through higher interest rates last year is playing a role, but intensified and ever- more public regulatory enforcement is becoming the primary driver of tightening credit conditions for businesses.
LatAm economies this year have faced a tough external environment of subdued commodity prices, weaker Chinese growth, the rising USD, and the impending Fed lift-off. At the domestic level, lower public spending, low confidence, and economic policy reform have clashed with above-target inflation, which has prevented central bankers from loosening monetary policy in order to mitigate the external and domestic headwinds. In these challenging circumstances, LatAm growth generally continues to disappoint, though performance is mixed.
Mr. Trump fired the shot everyone was expecting this week with a 10% tariff on $200B-worth of Chinese goods, and a pledge to lift the rate to 25% on January 1.
The U.S. pulled the trigger on Friday, following through on President Donald Trump's tweeted threat to raise the tariffs on $200B-worth of Chinese goods, under the so-called "List 3", to 25% from 10%.
Japan's trade surplus has whipsawed recently. Sharp changes are to be expected in January and February, due to the shifting timing of Chinese New Year.
The details of next year's Japanese budget are not yet official and the Chinese budget remains unknown. But the main figures of the Japanese budget are available, while China's Economic Work Conference, which concluded yesterday, has set out the colour of the paint for the budget, if not the actual brush strokes.
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.
2018 Will Test Chinese Leaders' Will To Reform...China Is Exposed To The Coming Rise In Global Yields
Bond market volatility and political turmoil in Greece have been the key drivers of an abysmal second quarter for Eurozone equities. Recent panic in Chinese markets has further increased the pressure, adding to the wall of worry for investors. A correction in stocks is not alarming, though, following the surge in Q1 from the lows in October. The total return-- year-to-date in euros--for the benchmark MSCI EU ex-UK index remains a respectable 11.4%.
Our caution over China's March industrial production spike was justified. Chinese retail sales growth hits lows. Chinese FAI growth suggests private sector policy loosening isn't working. Japan's M2 growth upturn is a welcome break, but needs to be sustained. Korean unemployment jumps in April, showing the limits of the government's hiring spree.
Chinese quarterly GDP growth was dire. China's industrial production was due an upward correction. China's retail sales data suggest that households took a Q3 battering. China's FAI growth shows no signs of turning. Japan's CPI avoids deflation.
In one line: Selling prices surge after tariffs on Chinese imports rise.
Chinese profits show signs of stabilisation, but headwinds will continue
China's new Loan Prime Rate amounts to a rate cut, but supply-side banking strains limit its efficacy. Chinese slowdown and pre-tax front-loading keeps Japan's trade balance in deficit.
Financial markets have gone into another tailspin over the last fortnight, triggered by rising concern about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and President Trump's threat of further tariffs on Chinese goods.
Signs of stabilisation in Chinese trade?
S&P downgraded Chinese government debt last week to A+ from AA- yesterday, following a Moody's downgrade last May.
Fears of a Chinese hard landing have roiled financial and commodity markets this past year and have constrained the economic recovery of major raw material exporters in LatAm.
The Fed deferred, but did not cancel, the start of its rate normalization last week. As a consequence, December is now the most likely meeting for the first hike. The Fed's core view of the U.S. economy remains the same, but policymakers want a bit more time to see how global developments affect the U.S. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the strength of the employment data, better Chinese numbers and calm financial markets to prevent any further postponement beyond Q4.
The sell-off in risky assets intensified while we were away, driven by China's decision to loosen its grip on the currency, and looming rate hikes in the U.S. The Chinese move partly shows, we think, the PBoC is uncomfortable pegging to a strengthening dollar amid the unwinding investment boom and weakness in manufacturing.
The disappearance from the FOMC statement of any reference to global risks, which first appeared back in September, was both surprising and, in the context of this cautious Fed, quite bold. After all, one bad month in global markets or a reversal of the jump in the latest Chinese PMI surveys presumably would force the Fed quickly to reinstate the global get-out clause. So, why drop it now?
The Chinese Communist Party looks set to repeal Presidential term limits, meaning that Xi Jinping likely intends to stay on beyond 2023.
We have focussed on the role of the trade war in depressing U.S. stock prices in recent months, arguing that the concomitant uncertainty, disruptions to supply chains, increases in input costs and, more recently, the drop in Chinese demand for U.S. imports, are the key factor driving investors to the exits.
Following the much-anticipated meeting between Presidents Xi and Trump over the weekend, the U.S. will now leave existing tariffs on $200B of Chinese goods at 10%, rather than increasing the rate to 25% in January, as previously slated.
Last week the Chinese authorities issued a series of new measures to help with bank recapitalisation, and, we think, to supplement interbank liquidity.
Volatility in commodities and emerging markets has intensified since the beginning of July, with the stock market drama in China taking centre stage. The bubble in Chinese equities inflated without much ado elsewhere, and can probably deflate in isolation too. But the accelerating economic slowdown in EM is becoming an issue for policy makers in the Eurozone.
Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses U.S.-China trade talks and the domestic state of the Chinese economy. She speaks with Francine Lacqua on Tom Keene on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Freya Beamish, Chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, discusses the Chinese government's ability to provide economic stimulus. She speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."
Why is the EZ current account surplus rising and net exports falling at the same time?
Freya Beamish produces the Asia service at Pantheon. She has several years of experience in covering the global economy, with a particular focus on China, Japan and Korea. Previously, she worked at Lombard Street Research (now TS Lombard), where she delivered research on Asia and the Global economy for over five years, latterly as the manager of the Macroeconomics group.
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