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Chinese activity has slowed sooner than expected; the reopening rebound has failed to gain traction.
Supply-side stimulus measures are the wrong prescription for an economy lacking demand.
The PBoC delivered surprise easing yesterday, but it looks half-hearted, and will achieve little.
China’s PMIs fell in July, reversing the June bounce, as the gains from reopening were exhausted.
Other sources of demand are few and far between, with stimulus efforts limited in scope and ambition...
...and global demand on the wane amidst multiple headwinds, as clearly shown by Korean export data.
Japan’s Tokyo CPI inflation was marginally stronger than expected, but still driven by cost-push factors.
Yen weakness should relieve pressure on the BoJ, and confirms an outlook of policy stability into 2024.
China’s Politburo has emphasised zero-Covid over growth, with few signals of significant stimulus.
Chinese industrial profits bounced in June, linked to reopening and policy support.
The private sector, however, is still struggling, and the reopening boost is already fading.
We expect profits to fall again, as soon as July, with a downtrend set to last into 2023.
Chinese profits rise, but the private sector still struggles
Japan had been recovering reasonably well from its Omicron wave, but a new outbreak now looms.
Growth is already under pressure, even before official restrictions are rolled out.
Inflation looks manageable, especially with demand pressures now waning.
Japanese inflation is still a cost push story
...Services take a dive
A more downbeat BoJ stays on hold
A welcome upside surprise for Japanese trade
Korean 20-day trade recovers, but the trend is still slowing
China’s loan prime rates were left unchanged on Wednesday, continuing the PBoC’s passive streak.
Monetary easing would have little effect at the moment, with loan demand falling.
Credit is increasingly being used to plug balance sheets, rather than support productive activity.
Little over a month after reopening, China’s economy is again threatened by rising Covid cases.
Restrictions are tightening in response to flare-ups across China, and are already hitting activity.
Slow progress with vaccinations means zero-Covid seems likely to persist into 2024.
Official data came closer to the truth than expected, showing a very weak Q2 for Chinese GDP.
June activity data showed a stronger bounce than anticipated, but this seems unsustainable.
Stimulus remains unequal to the task of reviving growth, and the target now looks doomed.
More of a slowdown for GDP than expected
A strong month for manufacturing, but momentum is fading
Subsidies pulled forward retail sales growth
Property continues to weigh on fixed asset investment
The reopening bounce for real estate proved underwhelming
In one line: Another record trade surplus as reopening remains a one-sided affair
We think China entered a balance sheet recession in Q2, and policy needs recalibrating to fix it.
The combination of the property downturn, tech crackdown, and zero-Covid, have hit asset values.
Balance sheet repair takes time, and breaks monetary transmission; fiscal support is needed.
Chinese CPI inflation is set to rise until Q4, but it’s still a very different story to the West.
Inflation is unlikely to spend any time above target, and will retreat in 2023, with PPI entering deflation.
The PBoC will not need to tighten policy, but other constraints prevent aggressive easing.
The Caixin manufacturing PMI confirmed a healthy rebound for China in June.
Domestic demand, however, remains weak, and data from Korea suggest external demand is fading.
Japanese inflation surprised to the downside in June, reinforcing the BoJ’s dovish position.
Inflation retreats unexpectedly in Japan
Korea points to slowing global trade
Korean manufacturing wobbles
Chinese manufacturing recovery confirmed
Chinese activity continued its reopening recovery in June, particularly outside manufacturing.
The surveys point to month-on-month growth, but not enough to save GDP from a quarterly decline.
More stimulus is needed to sustain this bounce, with households and SMEs still under pressure.
The manufacturing recovery continues
But the real story is the surge in non-manufacturing
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