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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
China+ Document Vault, Pantheon Macro, Pantheon Macroeconomics, independent macro research, independent research, ian shepherdson, economic intelligence