Week ahead economic preview

15 Jun 2017 Bernard Aw

Next week sees a number of Asia Pacific central banks deciding on monetary policy, while the flash June PMI surveys will provide all-important signals of second quarter growth and price trends for the US, eurozone and Japan.

PMI surveys have so far indicated that the global economy is set for a robust growth in Q2, although varying speeds of expansion are being seen across the globe.

The eurozone has led the developed world upturn, according to the PMI surveys, with the region enjoying its fastest growth for six years so far in the second quarter. June's flash surveys will be eagerly anticipated to see how growth, and the business mood, has progressed, especially as the data were collected after the June 11 French elections.

The surveys have added to mounting evidence that the eurozone will enjoy a stronger than previously anticipated 2017. But there are signs that inflationary pressures across the region are starting to wane despite solid economic growth. This supported the recent cut to the medium-term inflation forecasts by the ECB, and added to arguments that the central bank should not hurry to taper policy and raise rates.

Meanwhile, flash US PMI surveys will provide indications as to whether widespread expectations of a rebound in second quarter GDP are justified. As has been the case in recent years, weak first-quarter growth in the US seemed to be linked to GDP not fully accounting for seasonality, and most forecasters (including IHS Markit) are expecting a reasonable rebound in the second quarter. However, while IHS Markit's PMI numbers up to May point to faster growth in the second quarter, the pace of expansion has remained only modest and suggests there are downside risks to second-quarter GDP forecasts of 3.0% or more.

Data on new and existing home sales will also be gleaned for indications of the US economy's health during the second quarter.

In Japan, the Nikkei flash manufacturing PMI for June will likewise provide an important steer as to second quarter GDP. Data for April and May had been encouragingly resilient, and the broadening-out of growth (with service activity expanding in tandem with manufacturing output) points to a more sustainable and firmer growth footing for the economy. Analysts will also be keenly watching trade data for May to gauge the extent of export growth, which has been a key driver of manufacturing activity in recent months.

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Bernard Aw, Principal Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +65 6922 4226


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