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Analysen 10.03.2016

China's National People Congress: Criticism Misplaced

China's National People Congress: Criticism Misplaced

China’s National People Congress (NPC) commenced during the first week of March, where Premier Li Keqiang announced several economic targets for 2016. Most fell in line with expectations, including growth between 6.5% and 7.0%.


China’s National People Congress (NPC) commenced during the first week of March, where Premier Li Keqiang announced several economic targets for 2016. Most fell in line with expectations, including growth between 6.5% and 7.0%. Despite the well-advertised macro targets, criticism has surfaced that there remains a subtle emphasis on growth, implying that Beijing has chosen economic expansion over reform. This criticism is misplaced, in our view, and instead we argue that the NPC announcements provide Beijing even greater policy maneuvering towards reaching its desired results.

The NPC announcement used the language “between 6.5% and 7.0%” compared to “around” in previous years, which is where the point of contention exists. Some suggests that if Beijing was more adamant towards its reform agenda, the NPC would have reported a slower economic growth, verbiage of “around 6.5%.” What is easily forgotten though is the economic growth target is contingent on job creation. This target is easily achievable mainly because China is experiencing the unwanted desire of a shrinking labor force. Falling since 2012, China’s working age population, which is defined as those between the ages of 15-64, is about 853.7mn in 2015 according to the UN Data, falling about 10mn from the peak. With fewer entering the labor force compared to those retiring, Beijing can then promote an economic policy that fits better with this labor force dynamic, which would likely be closer to the lower end of the NPC’s target, i.e. “around 6.5%.”

However, creating 10m urban jobs is not anodyne for the economy, and instead the focus should be net job creation. The NPC working paper highlighted efforts to further engage in supply side reform. As such, Beijing is taking the unpopular decision to improve the competitiveness of state owned enterprises (SOE), including plans that could lead to 1.3mn job cuts in the coal sector and 500k cuts in the steel industry. With an investment emphasis looking into the new economy of service industries, the challenge will be whether those who are impacted by SOE reforms can be absorbed by the stronger components of the economy.

Christopher Chu
Christopher Chu, Assistant Fund Manager - Asia

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Meistgelesene News

Market insight 16.02.2018

US consumer confidence surprised to the upside, UK retail sales broadly flat

US: Consumer confidence (Michigan) (Feb P): 99.9 vs 95.5 expected (prior: 95.7)

  • Current conditions: 115.1 vs 111.1 expected (prior: 110.5)
  • Expectations: 90.2 vs 87.2 expected (prior: 86.3)
  • The press release states that negative references to stock prices were spontaneously cited by just 6% of all consumers. Instead, favorable perceptions of the tax reforms dominated.
  • All in all, consumers still appear to be in strong shape to boost their spending again over the coming months.

 

US: Import price index (Jan): 1% m/m vs 0.6% expected (prior: 0.2% revised from 0.1%)

  • On a y/y basis: 3.6% vs 3% expected (prior: 3% revised from 3.2%)
  • Headline was driven by a surge in imported petroleum prices (+4.3% m/m).
  • Within non-petroleum imported prices, the bulk of the increase came from industrial supplies (+3.1% m/m), while prices of capital goods and autos recorded only modest growth.

 

US: Housing starts (Jan): 1326k vs 1234k expected (prior: 1209k revised from 1192k)

  • On a y/y basis: 9.7% vs 3.5% expected (prior: -8.2% revised from -6.9%)
  • Building permits: 1396k vs 1300k expected (prior: 1302k revised from 1300k); 7.4% m/m vs 0% expected (prior: -0.1% revised from -0.2%)
  • While the volatile multi-family category led the increase, single-family starts rose as well.

 

UK: Retail sales (Jan): 0.1% m/m vs 0.5% expected (prior: -1.4% revised from -1.5%)

  • On a y/y basis: 1.6% vs 2.5% expected (prior: 1.4% revised from 1.5%)
  • Ex autos: 0.1% vs 0.6% expected (prior: -1.6% revised from -1.5%); 1.5% y/y vs 2.4% expected (prior: 1.3%)
  • Retail sales growth was broadly flat at the beginning of the New Year with the longer-term picture showing a continued slowdown in the sector.
Market insight 15.02.2018

Rising core PPI and disappointing industrial production in the US

US: PPI (Jan.): 0.4% m/m as expected (prior: 0.0% revised from -0.1%)

  • PPI y/y: 2.7% vs 2.4% expected (prior: 2.6%)
  • Core PPI: 0.4% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: -0.1%); 2.2% y/y vs 2.0% expected (prior: 2.3%)
  • The annual increase in core PPI is close to a 6-year high, which partly reflects the upward pressure on import prices from the weaker dollar and provides further evidence that inflationary pressures are set to build this year.

US: Industrial production (Jan.): -0.1% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: 0.4% revised from 0.9%)

  • Manufacturing production was flat m/m (vs 0.3% expected) and previous readings were revised slightly lower.
  • Except the 0.6% m/m rise in utilities output, which was due to the unseasonably cold temperatures in some regions, the weakness in January was broad-based.
  • Along with the weaker retail sales data released yesterday, this report provides further evidence that economic growth may (yet again) disappoint in Q1.

US: Philadelphia Fed. (Feb.): 25.8 vs 21.8 expected (prior: 22.2)

  • Unexpected increase with a solid rise in new orders, in employment but also in prices paid.

US: Empire manufacturing (Feb.): 13.1 vs 18.0 expected (prior: 17.7)

  • New orders slightly increased while employment and prices paid rose more meaningfully.
  • These two regional surveys confirms that manufacturers continue to be optimistic for the economic activity.

US: Initial jobless claims (Feb. 10): 230k vs 228k expected (prior: 223k revised from 221k)

US: NAHB housing market index (Feb.): 72 as expected (prior: 72)

  • Homebuilders' confidence remains close to the highest level since 1999.
  • The measure on the 6-month outlook reached its highest since 2005.

Russia: Industrial production (Jan.): 2.9% y/y vs -0.5% expected (prior: -1.5%)

 

Market insight 14.02.2018

US: higher inflation and lower retail sales than expected

US: CPI (Jan.): 0.5% m/m vs 0.3% expected (prior: 0.2% revised from 0.1%)

  • Yearly trend on headline inflation was stable at 2.1% y/y; core inflation was up by 0.3% m/m (vs 0.2% m/m expected and in prior month; stable at 1.8% y/y).
  • Energy (3% m/m), apparels (1.7% m/m; related to import prices) and services (0.3% m/m) were responsible for the monthly rebound.
  • Outlook on inflation points towards a rising trend; after moderate yearly trend in Q1, headline inflation should be close to 3% y/y in Q2, and core CPI above 2% y/y according to our scenario. 2018 average headline inflation should now reach 2.5% y/y and core inflation 2.2% y/y.
  • This argues in favor of regular rate hikes from the Fed in Q1 and Q2-18, and in favor of 4 rate hikes this year.

 

US: Retail sales (Jan.): -0.3% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: 0% revised from 0.4%)

  • Core sales were flat (0.4% m/m expected) and past month data were revised from 0.4% m/m to 0% m/m.
  • Bad weather conditions and a pause after strong Q4 data partly explained the negative surprises on sales.
  • Purchases on several items have reversed from the past two months (autos, building materials and electronics); non-store sales were flat after 0.5% m/m.
  • Too early to see in these volatile data a reversal in US scenario, as supports should continue from the heathy labor and some fiscal easing.

 

US: Business inventories (Dec.): 0.4% m/m vs 0.3% expected (prior: 0.4%)

  • Inventories have increased (notably ex-autos); but sales were still dynamic (0.6% m/m).

 

Eurozone: Industrial production (Dec.): 0.4% m/m vs 0.1% expected (prior: 1.3% revised from 1%)

  • Except capital goods, momentum in production was positive for all major sectors.
  • Yearly trend has reached 5.2% y/y, comparable to the high pace in activity reached before the crisis.

 

Germany: GDP (Q4-17): 0.6% q/q as expected (prior: 0.8%)

  • Growth has been strong at year end; Eurozone GDP has also been confirmed up by 0.6% q/q in Q4-17.

 

Germany: CPI (Jan.): -1% m/m as expected (prior: 0.6%)

  • Rising oil and food prices, while prices for leisure and clothes have weakened.
  • Yearly trend has moderated from 1.6% y/y to 1.4% y/y.

 

Italy: GDP (Q4-17): 0.3% q/q as expected (prior: 0.4%)

  • GDP was up by 1.6% y/y (1.7% y/y in Q3-17); Italy is under a progressive recovery, but it remains fragile.

 

Poland: GDP (Q4-17): 1% q/q vs 1.2% expected (prior: 1.2%)

  • Activity was on an accelerating trend (5.1% y/y after 4.9% y/y in Q3-17).

 

Turkey: Current account (Dec.): -7.7bn USD vs -7.5bn expected (prior: -4.38bn revised from -4.2bn)

  • Rising imports and weaker exports have increased trade and current account deficits.

Auch lesenswert

Market insight 16.02.2018

US consumer confidence surprised to the upside, UK retail sales broadly flat

US: Consumer confidence (Michigan) (Feb P): 99.9 vs 95.5 expected (prior: 95.7)

  • Current conditions: 115.1 vs 111.1 expected (prior: 110.5)
  • Expectations: 90.2 vs 87.2 expected (prior: 86.3)
  • The press release states that negative references to stock prices were spontaneously cited by just 6% of all consumers. Instead, favorable perceptions of the tax reforms dominated.
  • All in all, consumers still appear to be in strong shape to boost their spending again over the coming months.

 

US: Import price index (Jan): 1% m/m vs 0.6% expected (prior: 0.2% revised from 0.1%)

  • On a y/y basis: 3.6% vs 3% expected (prior: 3% revised from 3.2%)
  • Headline was driven by a surge in imported petroleum prices (+4.3% m/m).
  • Within non-petroleum imported prices, the bulk of the increase came from industrial supplies (+3.1% m/m), while prices of capital goods and autos recorded only modest growth.

 

US: Housing starts (Jan): 1326k vs 1234k expected (prior: 1209k revised from 1192k)

  • On a y/y basis: 9.7% vs 3.5% expected (prior: -8.2% revised from -6.9%)
  • Building permits: 1396k vs 1300k expected (prior: 1302k revised from 1300k); 7.4% m/m vs 0% expected (prior: -0.1% revised from -0.2%)
  • While the volatile multi-family category led the increase, single-family starts rose as well.

 

UK: Retail sales (Jan): 0.1% m/m vs 0.5% expected (prior: -1.4% revised from -1.5%)

  • On a y/y basis: 1.6% vs 2.5% expected (prior: 1.4% revised from 1.5%)
  • Ex autos: 0.1% vs 0.6% expected (prior: -1.6% revised from -1.5%); 1.5% y/y vs 2.4% expected (prior: 1.3%)
  • Retail sales growth was broadly flat at the beginning of the New Year with the longer-term picture showing a continued slowdown in the sector.
Market insight 15.02.2018

Rising core PPI and disappointing industrial production in the US

US: PPI (Jan.): 0.4% m/m as expected (prior: 0.0% revised from -0.1%)

  • PPI y/y: 2.7% vs 2.4% expected (prior: 2.6%)
  • Core PPI: 0.4% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: -0.1%); 2.2% y/y vs 2.0% expected (prior: 2.3%)
  • The annual increase in core PPI is close to a 6-year high, which partly reflects the upward pressure on import prices from the weaker dollar and provides further evidence that inflationary pressures are set to build this year.

US: Industrial production (Jan.): -0.1% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: 0.4% revised from 0.9%)

  • Manufacturing production was flat m/m (vs 0.3% expected) and previous readings were revised slightly lower.
  • Except the 0.6% m/m rise in utilities output, which was due to the unseasonably cold temperatures in some regions, the weakness in January was broad-based.
  • Along with the weaker retail sales data released yesterday, this report provides further evidence that economic growth may (yet again) disappoint in Q1.

US: Philadelphia Fed. (Feb.): 25.8 vs 21.8 expected (prior: 22.2)

  • Unexpected increase with a solid rise in new orders, in employment but also in prices paid.

US: Empire manufacturing (Feb.): 13.1 vs 18.0 expected (prior: 17.7)

  • New orders slightly increased while employment and prices paid rose more meaningfully.
  • These two regional surveys confirms that manufacturers continue to be optimistic for the economic activity.

US: Initial jobless claims (Feb. 10): 230k vs 228k expected (prior: 223k revised from 221k)

US: NAHB housing market index (Feb.): 72 as expected (prior: 72)

  • Homebuilders' confidence remains close to the highest level since 1999.
  • The measure on the 6-month outlook reached its highest since 2005.

Russia: Industrial production (Jan.): 2.9% y/y vs -0.5% expected (prior: -1.5%)

 

Market insight 14.02.2018

US: higher inflation and lower retail sales than expected

US: CPI (Jan.): 0.5% m/m vs 0.3% expected (prior: 0.2% revised from 0.1%)

  • Yearly trend on headline inflation was stable at 2.1% y/y; core inflation was up by 0.3% m/m (vs 0.2% m/m expected and in prior month; stable at 1.8% y/y).
  • Energy (3% m/m), apparels (1.7% m/m; related to import prices) and services (0.3% m/m) were responsible for the monthly rebound.
  • Outlook on inflation points towards a rising trend; after moderate yearly trend in Q1, headline inflation should be close to 3% y/y in Q2, and core CPI above 2% y/y according to our scenario. 2018 average headline inflation should now reach 2.5% y/y and core inflation 2.2% y/y.
  • This argues in favor of regular rate hikes from the Fed in Q1 and Q2-18, and in favor of 4 rate hikes this year.

 

US: Retail sales (Jan.): -0.3% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: 0% revised from 0.4%)

  • Core sales were flat (0.4% m/m expected) and past month data were revised from 0.4% m/m to 0% m/m.
  • Bad weather conditions and a pause after strong Q4 data partly explained the negative surprises on sales.
  • Purchases on several items have reversed from the past two months (autos, building materials and electronics); non-store sales were flat after 0.5% m/m.
  • Too early to see in these volatile data a reversal in US scenario, as supports should continue from the heathy labor and some fiscal easing.

 

US: Business inventories (Dec.): 0.4% m/m vs 0.3% expected (prior: 0.4%)

  • Inventories have increased (notably ex-autos); but sales were still dynamic (0.6% m/m).

 

Eurozone: Industrial production (Dec.): 0.4% m/m vs 0.1% expected (prior: 1.3% revised from 1%)

  • Except capital goods, momentum in production was positive for all major sectors.
  • Yearly trend has reached 5.2% y/y, comparable to the high pace in activity reached before the crisis.

 

Germany: GDP (Q4-17): 0.6% q/q as expected (prior: 0.8%)

  • Growth has been strong at year end; Eurozone GDP has also been confirmed up by 0.6% q/q in Q4-17.

 

Germany: CPI (Jan.): -1% m/m as expected (prior: 0.6%)

  • Rising oil and food prices, while prices for leisure and clothes have weakened.
  • Yearly trend has moderated from 1.6% y/y to 1.4% y/y.

 

Italy: GDP (Q4-17): 0.3% q/q as expected (prior: 0.4%)

  • GDP was up by 1.6% y/y (1.7% y/y in Q3-17); Italy is under a progressive recovery, but it remains fragile.

 

Poland: GDP (Q4-17): 1% q/q vs 1.2% expected (prior: 1.2%)

  • Activity was on an accelerating trend (5.1% y/y after 4.9% y/y in Q3-17).

 

Turkey: Current account (Dec.): -7.7bn USD vs -7.5bn expected (prior: -4.38bn revised from -4.2bn)

  • Rising imports and weaker exports have increased trade and current account deficits.