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CPI inflation last Friday gave Japanese policymakers a break from the run of bad data, jumping to 0.9% in April, from 0.5% in March.
Even the record-breaking slump in Markit's composite PMI probably understates the hit to economic activity from Covid-19 and the emergency measures to slow its spread.
The early damage in India from Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown likely was significant enough to hammer the GDP report for the first quarter, due tomorrow.
Consumer confidence in Korea plummeted in September for the first time since its first wave of Covid-19 earlier this year, in line with our view that the August increase was a fluke.
The release today of the final reading of the composite PMI for June will provoke further debate over its usefulness in charting the economy's recovery from the Covid-19 shock.
Some normality has returned in India, more than three weeks from the end of the nationwide lockdown and the start of "Unlock 1.0" on June 1.
Japan's advance PMI numbers for August suggest that the economy dodged most of the bullets fired by the second wave of Covid-19.
CPI inflation was steadfast at 1.9% in March, undershooting the consensus and our forecast for it to rise to 2.0%.
The Jibun Bank services PMI for Japan saw a heftier increase in June, to 42.3, from 26.5 in May, signalling a substantial easing of the industry's downturn.
Yesterday's advance EZ PMI data for September conformed to our expectations.
Japan's CPI inflation jumped to 1.3% in August, from 0.9% in July.
The end of Korea's first Covid-19 wave, coupled with the government's economic support measures, has been a boon for the retail industry.
The recovery of consumer confidence in Korea remains undeterred by the lingering risk of a second wave.
China's post-Covid-19 economic recovery is becoming increasingly undeniable. But the more relevant questions now are the speed of its revival, and whether there are still any low-hanging fruit to pick.
Data released on Friday showed that November inflation was in line with, or below, expectations in Brazil, Colombia and Chile.
Andean inflation remains under control, due to subpar growth, modest pressures on prices for nontradeables, and broadly stable currencies.
April's GDP report probably will be the worst any of us will see in our lifetime.
India's services PMI for June underscores the half-hearted nature of Unlock 1.0, with the daily number of new cases of Covid-19 still rocketing.
China's services sector continues to do most of the heavy lifting for the economy's recovery this quarter, judging by the survey data.
Retail sales in Japan rose modestly in May, after collapsing in March and April, as the government tried to put a lid on the country's Covid-19 outbreak.
Korea's main activity data for August showed that the economy clearly wobbled in the wake of the country's second wave of Covid-19, and the social distancing measures imposed in response to it.
We remain concerned that huge job losses are imminent, slowing the economic recovery after a mid-summer spurt.
The release of pent-up Japanese consumer demand in June was emphatic, with retail sales values jumping by 13.1% month-on-month.
Should you be feeling in the mood to panic over inflation risks--or more positively, benefit from the markets' underpricing of inflation risks--consider the following scenario. First, assume that the uptick in wages reported in October really does mark the start of the long-awaited sustained acceleration promised by a 5% unemployment rate and employers' difficulty in finding people to hire. Second, assume that the rental property market remains extremely tight. Third, assume that the abrupt upturn in medical costs in the October CPI is a harbinger o f things to come. And finally, assume that the Fed hawks are right in their view that the initial increase in interest rates will--to quote the September FOMC minutes--"...spur, rather than restrain economic activity". Under these conditions, what happens to inflation?
The drop in the flash composite PMI in March will be one for the record books, unfortunately. We look for an unprecedented drop to 43.0, from 53.3 in February, which would undershoot the 45.0 consensus and signal clearly that a deep recession is underway.
The Q1 GDP figures, released on Wednesday, likely will show that the quarter-on-quarter decline in economic activity eclipsed the biggest decline in the 2008-to-09 recession--2.1% in Q4 2008--even though the U.K. went into lockdown towards the very end of the quarter.
India's shocking PMIs for April leave little doubt that the second quarter will be bad enough to result in a full-year contraction in 2020 GDP, even if economic activity recovers strongly in the second half.
All major EZ governments are now in the process of lifting lockdowns, but investors should expect less a grand opening, more of a careful tip-toeing.
The U.K. economy underperformed its peers to an extraordinary degree in Q2.
The FOMC did mostly what was expected yesterday, though we were a bit surprised that the single rate hike previously expected for next year has been abandoned.
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.
Yesterday's national accounts showed that the downturn in the economy on the eve of the Covid-19 outbreak was sharper than first estimated.
Japan's main activity data for April were massively disappointing, presaging the sharper GDP contraction we expect in Q2, compared with Q1.
The softening in payroll growth in November appears mostly to be a story about short-term noise, rather than a sign that tariffs are hurting or that the broader economy is slowing.
We expect June's GDP data, released on Wednesday, to show that the economic recovery gathered momentum in June, having got off to a faltering start in May.
While we were out, most of the action was on the political front, while the economic data mostly were unexciting.
The 0.242% increase in the January core CPI left the year-over-year rate at 2.3% for the third straight month.
The rate of growth of wages has been the single best guide to Fed policy for many years.
Japan's economy contracted by 0.9% quarter-on- quarter in Q1, following a downwardly-revised 1.9% plunge in the previous quarter.
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.
August's consumer price figures caught everyone by surprise. CPI inflation increased to 2.7%, from 2.4% in July, greatly exceeding the consensus and the MPC's forecast, 2.4%.
The Bank of Japan yesterday kept its -0.10% policy balance rate and ten-year yield target of "around zero", as expected.
The Covid-19 crisis has turned the tables on the Spanish economy.
We take little comfort from the fact that the 2.0% quarter-on-quarter drop in Q1 GDP was a bit smaller than the consensus forecast, 2.5%, and the 3.0% fall pencilled-in by the MPC in its Monetary Policy Report.
GDP data for July, released on Friday, showed that the economic recovery following the Covid-19 lockdown still does not look V-shaped, even though virtually all restrictions on economic activity had been lifted.
The costs of the government's failure to lock down quickly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, ultimately necessitating long-lasting restrictions, were visible in May's GDP figures.
The economy will be a shadow of its former self over the remainder of this year, following the heavy pummelling from Covid-19.
Japan's prime minister in-all-but-name, Yoshihide Suga, will be inheriting an economy struggling to maintain any momentum from the release of pent-up demand.
CPI data today in France and Germany will confirm that current inflation rates remain very low in the euro area. Inflation in Germany likely rose to 0.3% year-over-year from 0.0% in September, in line with the consensus and initial estimate. State data indicate that the rise was driven by surging fresh food prices and slightly higher services inflation, principally due to a jump in the volatile recreation and culture sector. Looking ahead, food prices will drop back, but energy inflation will rise rapidly as last year's plunge drops out of the year-over-year comparison, while upward core pressure is now emerging too.
German data yesterday indicate that inflation pressures have, so far, been resilient in the face of the recent collapse in oil prices. Inflation rose to 0.5% year-over-year in January from 0.3% in December, partly due to base effects pushing up the year-over-year rate in energy prices, but core inflation rose too. The detailed state data indicate that almost all key components of the core index contributed positively, lead by leisure and recreation and healthcare.
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