Japan preliminary PMIs (May): Manufacturing 38.4 (prior 41.9) & Services 25.3 (prior 21.5)

Jibun Bank / Markit preliminary PMIs for May

Manufacturing 38.4
  • prior 41.9
Services 25.3
  • prior 21.5
Composite 27.4
  • prior 25.8
Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit:
  • “Latest PMI data provide yet another shocking insight into the devastating impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. While the rate of decline in services activity has eased very slightly, plummeting demand for goods is finally catching up with the manufacturing sector, which posted an accelerated decline in production during May. 
  • “Taking the April and May PMI surveys together, we see that both are indicative of GDP falling at an annual rate in excess of 10%. It is clear that the economy is going to contract for a third successive quarter, with the hit to Q2 likely to be potentially as large as 20% on the previous year. 
  • “Nevertheless, the dynamics in the economy are clearly evolving. As Japan eases the state of emergency measures, the services economy can begin its gradual recovery. However, the damage to the manufacturing sector could continue to worsen as global trade conditions deteriorate and the global economic recovery is slow.” 

Eurozone April final services PMI 12.0 vs 11.7 prelim

Latest data released by Markit – 6 May 2020

  • Composite PMI 13.6 vs 13.5 prelim
The preliminary release can be found here. A tad better than initial estimates but again, it doesn’t take away the fact that the euro area economy saw a record contraction in business activity during the month of April. A summary to wrap your head around:
Markit notes that:

“The extent of the euro area economic downturn was laid bare by record downturns in every country surveyed in April, with output falling at unprecedented rates across the region’s manufacturing and services sectors.

“With a large part of the region’s economy shut down while COVID-19 infections spiked higher, the economic data for April were inevitably going to be bad, but the scale of the decline is still shocking. The survey data are indicative of GDP falling at a quarterly rate of around 7.5%, far surpassing the worst decline seen in the global financial crisis. Jobs are also being lost at a rate never previously seen.

“Hopefully, with coronavirus curves flattening and governments making moves to ease lockdown restrictions, many sectors should start to see output and demand pick up. The process will be only very gradual, however, as governments juggle between reviving economies and preventing a second wave of infections. Most companies will inevitably need to work at levels well below full capacity and sectors such as retail, travel, tourism and recreation – already the hardest hit – will continue to be badly affected by social distancing.

“While the rate of decline may ease in coming months, we do not expect to see any material signs of recovery until the second half of the year, and it is likely to be several years before the output lost due to the 

Currencies in focus after weak PMI’s

Quick look as PMI impact settles

The weak PMI data was not a surprise, but the flow through into service data is confirmation of the feared inevitable, hence the weakness we see in the EUR/USD, German Bonds rising and European equities down. Dax now increasing its losses and at -1.48%.
So, the strongest currencies include the JPY and CHF (on risk aversion) with the EURO and the GBP the weakest on the session. Watch out for further risk souring.
Quick look as PMI impact settles

Marc Faber Discusses Chinese Economic Cooling Off, Sees Day Of Reckoning Delayed

Nothing notably new here from the man who has called for a Chinese crash in as little as 12 months. Now that the Chinese PMI came at the lowest level in 17 months (in line with the drop in the US ISM but completely the opposite of Europe’s PMI as everyone makes up their own data on the fly now with no rhyme or reason), Faber seems to have mellowed out a little on the Chinese end-play. He now sees the China government stepping in and prevent a collapse of the economy when needed, as the economy has dropped from a near 12% GDP growth to a collapse in the PMI in the span of a few months, even as Chinese banks lent another quarter trillion renminbi billion in July, and issued who knows how many hundreds of billions in CDOs to keep the ponzi afloat.

From Bloomberg TV:

On the cooling of China’s economy:

“I mean I’ve been arguing this year that the economy would inevitably slow down, because the impact of the stimulus would diminish. But having said that, the economy hasn’t crashed yet. It could still crash. But on the other hand, if you look at the performance of equities worldwide, it seems that the worse the economic news is, that the more the markets go up, because the market participants expect further easing measures, and maybe further stimulus. So altogether I would say it’s not going to be a disaster for stock investors yet. It’s interesting. The Chinese stock market began to discount the slowdown in economic growth actually precisely a year ago, in August, 2009. The market peaked out. And then drifted lower, but now that the bad news is essentially out, the market has started to rebound.”

On whether the property market is the biggest weakness in China:

“I’d like to make the following observation. We have a global economy, and an economy has different sectors. And you can have recession in some sectors of the economy. You can have a crash, say, in the property market, and you can have other sectors expanding. [Bolton: That’s the biggest weakness, right Marc, as far as you’re concerned, in the Chinese economy right now, it is the overheating in the property market?….] Well, I’m not sure. Because if they ease again, the speculation will go on. But we have credit problems in the property market undoubtedly. We have Ponzi schemes like loan sharking operations all over China. That’s a very dangerous. But what I would like to point out is that the agricultural sector, the rural sector in China and everywhere in the world is doing relatively well, because agricultural prices have started to rebound. And that was also seen in Thailand. In Thailand, new car sales are up very strongly.”

On whether the Chinese government will delay increasing interest rates this year:

“I think even if they increase it marginally it’s meaningless. Because interest rates are far below nominal GDP growth, and in my opinion far below inflation.”