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Week Ahead Economic Preview: Week of 25 May 2020

The following is an extract from IHS Markit's latest Week Ahead Economic Preview. For the full report (including Special Reports) please click on the 'Download Full Report' link.

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  • Q1 GDP updates to take back seats to more timely survey data to gauge Q2 growth
  • China PMI for May
  • Eurozone and US inflation updates

The week ahead sees a fresh estimate of US GDP in the first quarter, for which the decline is expected to be unrevised at a 4.8% annualised rate. Other GDP updates, including for India, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, France and Italy, are also widely expected to show a similar picture of economies already hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter.

However, these declines will be eclipsed by what's to come in the second quarter as lockdowns intensified in April. PMI surveys showed a record global economic contraction in April, pointing to recessions on unprecedented scales. Attention has thus turned to recovery paths, which will inevitably be determined by various factors including the speed with which the pandemic can be controlled, the timelines for an effective treatment or vaccine, the extent that lockdowns can be eased, the degree to which demand will continue to be affected, and the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy to support output and jobs. In this respect, flash PMI data for May showed rates of economic contraction easing markedly in the US, Europe and Japan, albeit remaining in steep decline, as lockdown restrictions started to be eased.

We will therefore be looking for further evidence to corroborate the PMI message that rates of decline bottomed out in April, including May updates to regional Fed business surveys and the University of Michigan consumer survey in the US (page 3).

In Europe, European Commission sentiment data for May are likewise set to provide corroborative evidence that most countries remained in decline but are showing some signs of picking up in May (page 4).

In Asia, the NBS China PMI will be eagerly awaited to gauge the extent to which weak global demand is dampening the recovery. Policy action is expected to come in the form of a rate cut at the Bank of Korea. Other key data include April retail sales and industrial production for South Korea and Japan (page 5).

Inflation trends will meanwhile be gauged via the eurozone flash CPI estimate and PCE prices in the US. Both are expected to show weakened price trends.

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PMI commentary: Chris Williamson

Europe commentary: Ken Wattret

APAC commentary: Rajiv Biswas and Bernard Aw

© 2020, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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.

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