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Moderate deceleration underway in China

The latest data on China’s economic activity point to a slowdown in China’s growth momentum in the third quarter, after the positive surprise of the first half of the year. We expect growth to continue to moderate for the rest of 2017 and into 2018, but the pace of deceleration may be fairly modest. We […]

Chinese PMI point to continued expansion

China’s official manufacturing PMI in August came in at 51.7, rising slightly from July (51.4), and remaining firmly in expansionary territory. The Markit PMI extended its ascendance for the third consecutive month to reach 51.6 in August. Domestic demand seems to be holding up well. The production, new orders and imports sub-indices of the official […]

Income growth supports recovery of Japanese consumption

Following a strong rebound in Q2, the momentum behind consumer spending in Japan seems to have moderated somewhat in July. Retail sales in Japan grew by 1.9% y-o-y, down slightly from 2.2% in June and 2.5% in Q2. Despite the softer momentum, the recovery in Japan’s consumer sector, which started roughly in the second half […]

Japan’s economy delivers a positive surprise

The first estimate of Japan’s Q2 GDP showed growth of 1.0% quarter over quarter (q-o-q) in real terms, or 4.0% annualised, beating the consensus estimates (1.6% annualised) by a wide margin. We have therefore decided to revise up our 2017 GDP forecast for Japan to 1.9% from 1.3%. Unlike previous quarters, when the recovery was […]

North Korea: Spikes in tensions look set to continue

The tensions between North Korea and the US that rose a notch in early August are rooted in the deep sense of insecurity of the regime of Kim Jong Un. A significant new stage in North Korea’s nuclear programme has now been reached, and the regime appears to believe that developing a credible nuclear deterrent […]

Sluggish inflation will keep BoJ on easing for a long time

In July’s monetary policy meeting, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) decided to keep its monetary easing programme unchanged, maintaining its qualitative and quantitative easing (QQE) with yield-curve control (YCC). In addition, the BoJ cut its inflation estimates for the current and next fiscal years, and revised its expectation for hitting its 2% target to one […]

China: GDP beats expectations again in Q2

Chinese GDP for Q2 2017 grew by 6.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) in real terms, the same pace of expansion as in Q1. The growth figure beats both the consensus forecast and our own estimate. We have decided to revise our Chinese GDP growth forecast for 2017 to 6.8% from 6.5%, and the forecast for 2018 to […]

Upbeat PMIs in China point to solid growth momentum in Q2

China’s official manufacturing PMI rose to 51.7 in June, the second highest reading in 2017. The Markit manufacturing PMI also rebounded to 50.4 in June after having dropped below the 50 threshold in the previous month. The rise in both indices in June suggests that China’s growth momentum in the second quarter was likely still […]

Japan’s tight jobs market may still show up in inflation

    The unemployment rate dropped to 2.8% in April 2017, the lowest in more than two decades, with 148 jobs for every 100 job seekers, a level that has not been seen since the early 1970s. What’s puzzling, however, is that the tightness in the labour market appears to have put very little pressure […]

China: rising debts a long-term concern, but short-term crisis unlikely

Moody’s announced on 24 May that it had downgraded China’s long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings to A1 from Aa3, due to its concerns about the rising debt in China. According to our estimate, China’s total debt amounted to Rmb203 trillion as of the end of 2016, equivalent to 261% of its nominal […]

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