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- The biggest change from the latest BoJ meeting was a reappraisal of the inflation outlook.
- Risks to inflation are now seen as balanced, rather than to the downside, the first change since 2014.
- Still, there will be no change in key policy settings for the next two years, with the target not in sight.
BoJ statement and outlook make some modest changes
Governor Kuroda quashes rate hike rumours
- Growth was stronger than expected at the end of 2021, but still slowed...
- The outsized contribution from both consumption and exports will now fade...
- ...as the central government takes centre stage, supported from the wings by the PBoC.
- China posted a new record-high trade surplus in December, boosting the renminbi.
- Behind the headline, however, lurks a troubling weakness of imports and domestic demand.
- Korea's central bank hiked rates to 1.25%, and signalled more to come this year.
- China's money and credit growth improved in December, but this isn't a stimulus surge.
- The authorities are laying down the groundwork to bail out swathes of the economy.
- We expect the Q4 GDP reading to be the weakest since the start of the pandemic.
- Tokyo CPI inflation reached a two-year high in December, thanks largely to energy prices.
- Inflation will climb further yet, but will still fall short of the BoJ's 2% target.
- Chinese reserves data show the PBoC has been leaning against renminbi appreciation.
- Despite some apparent good news, early data point to marginal weakening in growth in December.
- Policymakers are delivering more initiatives, but they will only cushion the fall.
- Bad news on Sinovac efficacy versus Omicron means reopening is pushed back a year, at least.
- The BoJ kept its main policy tools unchanged in December, but tinkered around the edges.
- An announced reduction in corporate debt purchases had already begun in practice.
- The taper is offset by an extension of SME lending, which has been a bigger balance sheet driver.
Tinkering at the edges, but the elusive inflation target remains the focus
Kuroda leans into a weaker yen
Japanese exports jumped in November, amidst signs of reduced supply chain pressures.
Unfortunately, the outlook for December is dimming, thanks in part to Chinese Covid policy.
Omicron is set to renew supply disruptions, just as they were easing, but it will also weaken demand.
November's data are a mixed bag, but investment weakness, led by property, is the main concern.
Infrastructure should begin to offset property soon, but manufacturing faces its own challenges.
Omicron has entered China, and will intensify the cycle of zero-Covid lockdowns.
Japan's Tankan survey points to an improvement in Q4, particularly outside manufacturing.
Success in containing Covid, for now, has boosted the services sector, and smaller firms are reviving.
Inflationary pressures continued to build in Q4, but will not disturb BoJ policy yet.
- Early Chinese data point to a stabilisation—at low levels— of economic activity.
- Infrastructure investment likely rose in November, partially offsetting the property slowdown.
- Prepare for a harsher crackdown on the private sec- tor in 2022, and more infrastructure spending.
- Chinese consumer price inflation accelerated in November, driven by food prices...
- ...but base effects will soon weigh on the index, such that November marks the near-term peak.
- Producer price inflation has already begun to rollover, as energy prices start to fall.
- Evergrande, and a nudge from upstairs, seem to have forced the PBoC's hand.
- A 50 bps cut to the RRR frees up funds to deal with the clean-up operation, not supercharge growth.
- More cuts will be needed, with growth likely to remain soft in Q1 of next year.
- Chinese economic momentum stabilised in November, thanks to policy action.
- The end of the energy crisis has boosted output, and eased some bottlenecks.
- Infrastructure support looks to be arriving, propping up construction as property struggles.
- October was another strong month for Chinese industrial profits, propelled by coal...
- ...But coal prices have been slashed, and energy rates hiked, so we expect deceleration from here.
- China is doubling down on zero-Covid in the face of Omicron, which will prove costly.
- Headline inflation in Japan is on the rise,though still driven by transitory factors.
- Underlying inflationary pressures remain weak, but should get a brief boost from fiscal policy soon.
- The newest Covid variant generates a huge amount of uncertainty, and carries large downside risks.
- Korean trade data show further signs of an easing in congested supply chains.
- Chinese policymakers turn more dovish, but no real relief for the property sector.
- Renminbi strength starts to bother the PBoC, but "two-way volatility" is more likely than devaluation.
- Japanese growth fell sharply in Q3, as both consumption and capex declined.
- A near-term rebound is on the cards, as temporary headwinds fade.
- Beyond Q4, however, growth needs policy support merely to return to, let alone surpass, its trend.