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Week Ahead APAC Economic Preview: Week of 25 March 2019

  • Industrial production updates for Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan
  • US and UK GDP updates
  • UK Brexit remains key FX wildcard
  • Special report looks at China's new foreign investment law

Markets will be looking for signs of support having been rattled by weaker than anticipated PMI surveys last week. The surveys showed accelerating manufacturing downturns in the US, Eurozone and Japan. The weak data suggest that trade wars worries, slower growth in China and rising political uncertainty continued to exert an increasingly heavy toll on business activity and global export volumes.

Key data releases which will add colour to the overall assessment of the health of the manufacturing sector include various industrial production and trade updates in Asia. Especially important will be releases on manufacturing output from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan. The PMI surveys suggest all have the potential to disappoint, particularly given continued weakness in global electronics orders. International trade data for Vietnam, Hong Kong and the US will meanwhile add to the global trade picture.

Elsewhere, GDP updates will be scoured for further clues of growth in the US, UK, Spain, the Netherlands, and Vietnam. US fourth quarter GDP growth may be revised down very slightly from 2.6% to 2.5% according to consensus expectations. Other data releases for the US include house prices, housing starts and sales, as well as regional business surveys. The US data will be in particular focus after the Fed recently adopted a more dovish stance, taking rate hikes off the 'dot charts' for the rest of 2019.

In currency markets, Brexit remains a major uncertainty for the British pound and the week could see further FX volatility. After a planned vote on the current UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement was blocked last week, the government will likely seek a third attempt at pushing the deal through in coming days. The vote is widely anticipated to once again fail, adding to speculation that the UK could leave without a deal or that new initiatives could be discussed, or even that Prime Minister Teresa May could resign. In other words, anything could happen.

Download the article for a full diary of key economic releases.

Contact for further APAC commentary: Rajiv Biswas or Bernard Aw

Contact for European and US PMI commentary: Chris Williamson

© 2019, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) data are compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide. The monthly data are derived from surveys of senior executives at private sector companies, and are available only via subscription. The PMI dataset features a headline number, which indicates the overall health of an economy, and sub-indices, which provide insights into other key economic drivers such as GDP, inflation, exports, capacity utilization, employment and inventories. The PMI data are used by financial and corporate professionals to better understand where economies and markets are headed, and to uncover opportunities.

Learn how to access and receive PMI data


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