While there was a bit of a base effect going on the underlying export story in Singapore remained very weak in June. Indeed, in some sectors – electronics - we’re looking at weakness not seen since the financial crisis, even if this sector is fundamentally a shrinking one as manufacturers continue to relocate offshore.
Another positive surprise on the wages front with a strong pick up in the headline data. The rebound in weekly wage growth was partly due to a more favourable hours worked comparison though. Hourly wage growth has been steadier. Alongside steady inflation means real income growth has improved, continuing the recovery we’ve seen in recent months.
Stronger than expected rise in credit during June with the culprit appearing to be an increase in local government bond issuance, reflecting official efforts to support the domestic economy. Loan growth continues to run well ahead of nominal GDP. And with no underlying pick up in money supply growth the velocity measures also remain weak.
Slight upside surprise in June core consumer prices as headline y/y moved down amid the base effect. The breakdown shows a further uptick in housing costs (shelter) while there has also been some upward movement in household furnishings and apparel (which was slightly less deflationary), perhaps reflecting tariff effects.
Consumer prices remained steady in June with prices actually falling m/m, which kept the y/y rate at 2.7%. The backdrop would have been more encouraging had swine flu not taken its toll on meat prices while fresh fruit and vegetables have also soared over the past few months.
UK activity data for May somewhat better than expected, but this is largely due to volatility as industry juggled with the initial March Brexit data and resulting slide in production in April, notably the pre-planned auto sector shutdowns. The underlying picture is still one of weakening activity
A positive surprise, particularly after the weak ADP number on Wednesday, with non-farm payrolls +224k in June, although there were mild downward revisions for the previous two months (-11k).
Factory orders missed once again with a terrible 2.2% m/m decline in volumes. That has dropped the y/y rate to -8.7%, which represents a 117 month low and the 10th consecutive negative y/y reading. In index terms we’re now down 11.3% from the December 2017 peak.
June ISM non-manufacturing index recorded a further decline and while the Final Markit Services PMI was revised up a little, the overall story remains brittle. The ISM non-manufacturing report showed declines in the rate of activity, output and new orders with only export orders showing stability.
Another weak ADP private sector jobs report with just 102.2k jobs created in June. That marks an improvement following the very weak May release but still drags the 3m average down to 132.7k, the lowest since July 2012. The ADP breakdown bears out the problems of the construction sector, with a second consecutive month of declines while small businesses also showed another contraction in jobs.
Money supply continues to tick up again, but overall there is not much to suggest we’re in any marked re-acceleration phase, which is equally evident in the persistently weak money multipliers. Credit data surprised on the downside thanks to some moderation in consumer demand for money. Non-financial side looks stronger.
The final reading of US first quarter growth, at first glance, paints a positive picture. The quarterly pace of expansion came in at 3.1% ann. with y/y growth hitting 3.2%, the highest since Q1 2015. But the structure shows clear evidence of the cross currents at work with an upward revision to the inventories build and a relatively better gain from net exports offsetting a moderation of domestic consumption growth.
Another weak durable good orders report, with the outcome surprising to the downside of expectations, pushing the y/y rate deeper into negative territory. Ex-ing out the more volatile components improves the picture somewhat but the overall story is still unimpressive.
The survey data still continues to paint a rather bleak picture for German industry with the expectations component taking a renewed step lower in June and while current conditions were a shade better than expected together this marked a new low point in this leg of the cycle for the overall climate index.
Slight downside surprise versus market expectations but really nothing too unexpected. The underlying inflation story remains moderate short-term disinflation. There is not much sign the initial raft of tariffs have had much of an effect on consumers, with goods prices a little easier.
Money supply growth remains steady. Credit growth has quickened a touch from April but overall there isn’t much evidence that the governments stimulus efforts have opened the credit spigots, particularly the private sector. Debt is growing a little faster than GDP again, but not markedly.
Modest improvement in the UK wages story. But it still appears that nominal gains are topping out with data flattered by the number of hours worked (at 32.2 vs. 31.8 in the same period a year ago). The stabilisation in nominal growth rates is not necessarily bad news for consumption given that inflation also looks to be moderating again, certainly at the headline level.
China recorded a larger than expected trade surplus in May, but mainly due to weakness on the import side rather than any underlying improvement in export performance.
Mirroring the weak ADP figure the May payrolls numbers also surprised on the downside. Revisions also downward, which also showed up in ADP’s release. The participation rate was stable, as was the unemployment rate. Hourly earnings were a little softer than expected and hours worked were flat at 34.4, which is down versus a year ago, dampening gains in weekly wage growth.
April turned out to be another poor month for German industry with the decline in overall industrial production fairly modest compared to the drop on the manufacturing side, where output dropped 2.5% on the month leaving output down 3.4% y/y.