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Data released yesterday showed that gross fixed investment in Mexico started Q4 on a decent note, increasing on the back of healthy purchases of imported machinery and equipment and construction spending.
We have to hand it to Italy's politicians. In an economy with a current account surplus of 3% of GDP, a nearly balanced net foreign asset position and with the majority of government debt held by domestic investors, the leading parties have managed to prompt markets to flatten the yield curve via a jump in shortterm interest rates.
We covered the detailed German Q1 GDP report in Friday's Monitor--see here--but the investment data could do with closer inspection. The headline numbers looked great.
Japan's unemployment rate edged back up to 2.5% in February after the drop in January to 2.4%.
The Eurozone manufacturing sector finished 2017 on a strong note. The headline PMI increased to a cyclical high of 60.6 in December, from 60.1 in November, in line with the initial estimate.
Yesterday's sole economic report in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy slowed further at the end of 2018.
Judging by the survey data, German business sentiment remained depressed at the start of the year.
Data released last week confirm that the Argentinian economy was resilient at the start of the year, but downside risks to growth have increased.
The BoJ kept policy unchanged yesterday, with the policy balance rate remaining at -0.1% and the 10-year yield target remaining around zero.
Yesterday's detailed German GDP report raised more questions than it answered. The headline confirmed that growth accelerated to 0.4% quarteron- quarter in Q4, from 0.1% in Q3, leaving the year-over- year rate unchanged at 1.7%.
The IFO continues to tell a story of a German economy on the ropes.
Yesterday's economic data in Germany confirmed that the economy slowed in Q3, but also added to the evidence that growth will rebound in Q4. The second estimate for Q3 showed that real GDP rose 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, slowing from a 0.4% gain in Q2.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone remained a strong driver of GDP growth in the third quarter. The headline EZ manufacturing PMI rose to 58.1 in September, from 57.4 in August, only a tenth below the initial estimate 58.2.
Producer price inflation in the euro area almost surely peaked over the summer.
Recent economic indicators in Mexico have been mixed, distorted by temporary factors, including the effect of the natural disasters in late Q3. Private consumption has lost some momentum, hit by the lagged effect of high interest rates and inflation, as well as the earthquakes.
Chile's IMACEC economic activity index rose 2.4% year-over-year in January, down from 2.6% in December, and 3.3% on average in Q4, thanks mostly to weak mining production.
The 7.8% month-on-month plunge in Japan's core machine orders in May re-emphasises the underlying weakness that we have been worrying about, after the 5.2% jump in April.
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.
Industrial production data in Germany continued to defy the signal of doom and gloom from leading indicators.
Yesterday's final May PMI data in the Eurozone confirmed the strength of the cyclical upturn. The composite PMI was unchanged at 56.8, in line with the initial estimate.
Demand in German manufacturing rebounded strongly midway through the second quarter.
The most positive thing to say about the EZ manufacturing PMI at the moment is that it has stopped falling.
The upside to manufacturing survey data in the Eurozone appears endless.
Eurozone manufacturing boosted GDP growth in the first half of the year, and survey data suggest that momentum will be maintained in Q3.
Brazil's key data flow started Q4 on a soft note, but we still believe that the economic recovery will gather strength over the next three-to-six months.
The majority of headlines from last week's advance Q4 GDP data in the Eurozone--see here--were negative.
The Spanish economy has been living a quiet life recently, amid markets' focus on political risks in Italy and manufacturing slowdowns in Germany and France.
Data on Friday showed that the EZ current account surplus fell to €25.3B in September, from a revised €29.2B in August. The trade and services surpluses were unchanged, but the income balance slipped after rising in the previous months.
The Spanish economy remains the stand-out performer in the Eurozone, but recent data suggest that growth is slowing.
Yesterday marked President AMLO's first 100 days in office, with skyrocketing approval ratings and improving consumer confidence.
The euro area economy continues to defy rising political uncertainty. Data yesterday showed that industrial production, ex-construction, in the Eurozone jumped 1.5% month-to-month in November, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 3.2% from a revised 0.8% in October. Output rose in all the major economies, but the headline was flattered by a 16.3% month-to-month leap in Ireland. This was due to a production jump in Ireland's "modern sector" which includes the country's large multinational technology sector.
Last week's detailed GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy is benefiting from an investment cycle for the first time since before the financial crisis.
Macroeconomic data in the euro area were mixed in our absence.
China's PPI inflation has been trending down since early 2017.
Data on Friday showed that German wage growth is firming. Nominal labour costs rose 2.5% year-overyear in Q3, accelerating from a revised 1.9% increase in Q2. The main driver was a strong rebound in gross earnings growth, which rebounded to 2.4% year-over-year from an oddly weak 1.2% in Q2.
France is solidifying its position as one of the Eurozone's best-performing economies.
We think Japanese monetary policy easing essentially is tapped out, both theoretically and by political constraints.
The re-emergence of Chinese PPI inflation in 2016 was instrumental in stabilising equities after the 2015 bubble burst.
This week's data confirmed Mexico's strong economic performance over the first few months of this year.
Yesterday's industrial production report in Mexico added weight to the idea that the sector improved marginally in the first quarter, despite many external threats. Industrial output rose 0.1% month-to-month in February, following a similar gain in January. The calendar-adjusted year-over-year rate rose to -0.1%, after a modest 0.3% contraction in January.
The outlook for private investment in the Eurozone has deteriorated this year, especially in manufacturing.
Japanese headline PPI inflation will edge higher in coming months as last year's rise in oil prices feeds through. But inflation in manufacturing goods, excluding processing, is microscopic and should soon roll over as pipeline pressures wane.
Yesterday's final May manufacturing PMIs confirmed that the EZ industrial sector is in fine form. The PMI for the euro area was unchanged at a cyclical high of 57.0 in May, in line with the initial estimate.
Yesterday's sole economic report showed that the EZ trade surplus rebounded slightly at the start of the year, rising to €17.0B in January, from a revised €16.0B in February, lifted by a 0.8% increase in exports, which offset a 0.3% rise in imports.
Yesterday's IFO survey capped a fine Q4 for German business survey data. The headline business climate index climbed to a 34-month high of 111.0 in December, from 110.4 in November. An increase in the "current assessment" index was the main driver of the gain, while the expectations index rose only trivially.
Japan's trade balance deteriorated sharply in May, flipping to a ¥967B deficit from the modest ¥57B surplus in April.
Chile's Q2 GDP report, released yesterday, confirmed that the economy gathered strength in the first half of the year, consolidating a strong recovery that started in Q3 2017.
We doubt that this week will see the MPC joining the list of other major central banks that have abandoned plans to raise interest rates this year.
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.
Yesterday's EZ industrial production data for January confirmed the string of positive advance numbers from most of the individual economies.
The Eurozone economy was resilient at the end of last year, but yesterday's reports indicated that growth was less buoyant than markets expected. Real GDP in the euro area rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the same pace as in Q3, but slightly less than the initial estimate 0.5%.
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.
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.
Japan's trade surplus rebounded to ¥522B in April, on our adjustment, from ¥390B in March, around the same level as the official version, though from a higher base.
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