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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.
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
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
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 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.
Profits are still under pressure, despite reopening and policy support
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.
Clearing the export backlog boosted industrial production
Flickers of stimulus in FAI data
Chinese consumers prove more resilient than expected
Chinese PMIs rose in May, but are still sub-50, signalling month-on-month declines.
We expect a return to growth in June, as zero-Covid restrictions ease further, but it will be gradual.
The latest stimulus announcements provide a touch of new money, but still look lacklustre.
Inflation is stabilising in Japan, after its April surge, and we do not expect much movement from here.
Yen weakness has partially reversed, thanks to U.S. data, easing the pressure on the BoJ.
Chinese industry is under pressure, particularly the private sector, and policy offers only limited support.
A more boring month for Japanese inflation
Profits collapsed during China’s lockdown
We are lowering our Chinese GDP forecast, as the data for April were closer to reality than expected.
Prolonged zero-Covid restrictions risk permanent economic scarring, limiting any rebound.
China’s property sector is a separate—and over- looked—drag on activity, and set to persist.
The tightest zero-Covid policies since the Wuhan outbreak have crushed Chinese economic activity.
Spillovers to global trade are already apparent, and will get worse before they get better.
Zero-Covid is not going away; the stakes are too high, so be ready for disruption throughout 2022.
Some good news, but it's not going to last
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.
Lockdowns and shuttered factories in China appear to be the culprit behind slowing Japanese exports.
Further weakness seems inevitable as Chinese policy tightens, and regional supply chains collapse.
Underperforming exports again raise questions about the benefits of a weaker yen.
China's economy beat expectations in Q1, but is still falling short of the 2022 growth target.
The GDP data probably overstate economic growth, but either way things will get worse in Q2.
The battle with Covid is proving extremely costly; it will necessitate more stimulus, and soon.
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