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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.
China’s PMIs fell in July, reversing the June bounce, as the gains from reopening were exhausted.
Other sources of demand are few and far between, with stimulus efforts limited in scope and ambition...
...and global demand on the wane amidst multiple headwinds, as clearly shown by Korean export data.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 PBoC has adopted new language in the wake of a slowdown in bank lending...
...But we think this is unlikely to signal a sudden pivot in monetary policy, given other constraints.
The PBoC has no choice but to accept a higher debt ratio, unless it wants to deepen the recession.
Chinese CPI inflation jumped in April, due to soaring food prices, but that will not worry the PBoC.
Zero-Covid has pushed up food prices, even as it depresses core inflation.
The PBoC has joined fiscal policymakers in making announcements with no new information.
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