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Japanese manufacturing and services both slowed this month, according to the flash PMI surveys.
Fading global demand is taking its toll on Japanese manufacturing, after a short hiatus.
Covid is the main headwind for the services sector, but not the only one, so any revival will be brief.
Early Korean export data suggest that global trade is still slowing, particularly if energy is excluded.
China’s Omicron lockdown and reopening distorted the data, but the underlying trend is clear, and grim.
Chinese easing efforts still look inadequate, but the central government is finally stepping in.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Chinese exports rebounded in May on the back of the country’s reopening, post-Omicron.
A more muted recovery of import growth meant that the trade balance rose further into surplus.
We still expect a decline in the surplus this year, but policy is working hard to mitigate this.
Employment—the ultimate goal of China’s growth targets—fell further in May, despite reopening.
We expect further support to be rolled out until the situation shows a sustained improvement.
Price pressures still look modest, and consumer inflation likely edged only slightly higher in May.
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.
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.
Japanese flash PMIs for May show a domestic recovery facing headwinds from external factors.
The most obvious culprit is China’s zero-Covid policy, with restrictions loosening only slowly.
New stimulus from China is underwhelming, but, importantly, contains new money this time.
Japan’s CPI inflation is finally back above its 2% target, but this won’t prompt a change from the BoJ.
The surge has been driven almost entirely by base effects, rather than any pick-up in demand.
Falling rates in China, aimed at propping up the property sector, will have little effect.
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 Caixin Services PMI plummeted again in April, as the zero-Covid vice tightened further.
The employment picture is darkening rapidly, and will be a major worry for policymakers.
We are still waiting for a material shift in policy, even so; announcements so far contain nothing new.
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