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Japan’s trade deficit widened again in July, thanks to a surging import bill.
Energy costs are a big part of the problem, but recent yen weakness is more curse than blessing.
Exports are yet to benefit from the currency’s fall, and key imports are insensitive to price changes.
Supply chains are recovering, with delivery times and shipping costs improving in East Asia.
Lower raw material costs are reducing cost-push inflation, and should feed through to output prices.
The main supply-side risks now are political, as China retaliates for Speaker Pelosi’s Taiwanese trip.
Inflation data hint at weak domestic demand, but also point to disinflationary pressures from China.
Food prices are the main driver of CPI inflation, but the PBoC target will only briefly be breached.
Bank lending has turned a corner, but it doesn’t look like the private sector is benefitting.
China’s FX reserves rose slightly in May, snapping a run of declines, despite currency weakness.
We think the recovery was driven chiefly by valuation effects, given reports of continued outflows.
The PBoC would feel more comfortable easing if China really were experiencing net inflows.
Fears that China will export inflation as a result of policy stimulus look misplaced, to us.
Stimulus has been predominantly focused on supply-side measures, and should reduce inflation.
Korean exports have improved, but it is too soon to call a turning point in global trade.
Zero-Covid caught up with Chinese exports in April, as inventories were exhausted...
...But demand played a role too, with higher energy prices dragging down trade with Japan and Europe.
The fundamental backdrop for the renminbi is deteriorating, highlighted by plunging FX reserves.
Japanese inflation is still rising, and is all but guaranteed to break through its target in April...
...But the BoJ has already indicated it has no intention of changing tack; rates won't rise this year.
Policymakers are flirting with the idea of currency intervention, but Kuroda won't take the lead.
China's currency is finally succumbing to pressure from multiple fronts, and has further to fall.
The renminbi poses a key constraint to PBoC policy, which Beijing will ultimately override.
April export data from Korea show that China's bat- tle with Covid will weigh heavily on global trade.
China's trade surplus enjoyed a final lift in March, as import demand collapsed, and exports rose...
...But look through the seasonal distortions, and exports were weaker than they appeared.
Beijing has promised to offset some of the pain from zero-Covid, but stimulus looks light, to us.
China's FX reserves fell again in March, amidst reports of large portfolio outflows, thanks to Putin.
One by one, the key supports for the renminbi are being chipped away, and Q2 will be turbulent...
...but H2 will see a downward trend consolidate, as multiple headwinds force the RMB to submit.
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