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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.
Chinese money growth was better than expected in July, but credit growth disappointed.
Private sector loan demand looks ever weaker, suggesting a limit to gains from monetary easing.
The PBoC is preparing to pare back, with financial stability risks the most likely consideration.
China reported another record trade surplus in July, thanks to surprisingly strong export growth...
...but exports are starting to slow, at the margin, and still face structural headwinds this year.
Generous government subsidies cannot hold back the tide indefinitely, and risk political blowback.
China’s current account balance fell in Q2, despite strong trade balance figures.
The hit from the income account is unlikely to be repeated, but tailwinds are fading.
Export growth must slow, and compression of demand can’t go much further.
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.
Markets have responded optimistically to news of a
Chinese property rescue fund...
...But the sums involved are too small to save the sector, and likely have more modest aims.
The growing role of the central government is nonetheless an encouraging signal; more is needed.
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.
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.
The BoK hiked by 50bp, but managed to sound dovish about the path ahead.
China’s trade balance hit a record surplus in June, driven by ongoing reopening dynamics.
Domestic demand is falling, with fiscal stimulus still too limited to provide a boost, rather than a floor.
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.
Chinese industrial profits fell again in May, despite the reopening from lockdown.
Government support likely propped up profits in some sectors, demand still looks weak.
The PBoC is injecting liquidity again, but this is about quarter-end management, not stimulus.
Japanese CPI inflation was unchanged in May, andremains above the 2% target.
We think inflation will remain above target for the rest of the year, thanks to recent yen weakness.
But the BoJ will still see no reason to hike, with cost-push inflation viewed as “unsustainable”.
Japanese manufacturing slowed further in June, likely reflecting weakening global demand.
The service sector extended its recovery from the Omicron-induced lows, but will peak soon.
Price pressures rose further, but the labour market still looks soft, so no change likely from the BoJ.
Policy rates remain on hold in China, alongside a broader pause in monetary easing.
More accommodative policy seems unlikely to drive growth, given lacklustre credit demand.
Monetary policy needs fiscal help, if it is to regain traction, and not add to financial risks.
China’s property market took another tumble in May, despite policy efforts to steady the ship.
Buyers are unlikely to return while so many developers look fragile, and employment is under pressure.
Real estate will be a headwind to economic growth for the rest of the year, and likely beyond.
Reopening has proceeded faster than we expected in China, prompting a larger immediate rebound.
Industrial production in particular has benefitted from a return to normal, and an export backlog.
Subsidies helped to prop up retail sales, but likely reallocated, rather than boosted, consumption.
Renewed yen weakness has drawn policymaker attention, with markets on alert for intervention.
Fighting currency weakness, however, is difficult, and Japan has few tools available.
Policymakers will likely be limited to fighting a rearguard action, reducing volatility on the way down.
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.
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