Friday, March 31 2017 | ASIA TODAY INTERNATIONAL - Reporting the Business that Matters in Asia
Updated: 7 hours 50 min ago
The abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and statements by both the president and the new US trade authorities seem to indicate that the US is turning towards bilateralism and is likely to consider the balance of trade as the variable on which to base its policies.
Weekly economic update focusing on the major economic indicators to be released the week of March 20, 2017. Special topic: the U.S. auto industry
Global GDP growth continues accelerating in Q1, though our BBVA-GAIN indicator of global growth is slightly lower than a month ago (Q4: 0.85%; Q1: 0.93%). Confidence indicators continue to be very strong and global trade gives signals of further expansion, but industrial production and especially retail sales are more moderate in early year.
The recovery of the Spanish economy continues. Quarterly GDP growth is expected to stand around 0.8% in 1Q17, compared to the 0.7% recorded at 2H16. If this forecast is confirmed, it would imply a slight upward bias on the 2017 growth considered in BBVA’s scenario (2.7 %). However, expectations of a slowdown relative to 2016 remain.
The outlook has improved notably in the last two months. There are still two possible outcomes, but things are now more likely to go well
Slightly below market and our expectations, the Central Bank (CBRT) increased late liquidity window (LLW) rate to 11.75% from 11% and kept the rest of the interest rates constant. After already breaching double digits, expectations of further significant increase in inflation is noted as the main driver of today’s decision.
The economy of Galicia grew 3.0% in 2016, and will still grow 2.8% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018, creating some 20,000 new jobs in those two years, although some external factors’ contribution shall slow down. Having almost recovered pre-crisis per capita income, creating more and better jobs remains as a challenge.
The National People's Congress is without doubt one of the most important events in China’s political calendar. This year is especially important given that the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China will take place in October, where we will oversee the most important leadership reshuffle since 2012, when Xi Jinping became president.
Last year’s recovery continued into 2017. The latest data releases point towards another month of strong growth. In particular, Fixed asset investments and industrial production strengthened in February, while trade figures improved in line with a pickup in global trade. We expect growth to edge down towards 6.0-6.5% by year-end as headwinds continue.
Businesses are finding the environment less favourable in terms of accessibility to banking finance and its cost. IMF publishes a study on financial depth in Mexico. Update of the housing price index at the close of 2016. Better-than-expected US economic data sustain risk appetite; the peso appreciates, underpinned by the measures taken by Banco de México
Solid employment growth, stable gasoline prices and low interest rates contributed to robust vehicle sales through the end of 2016. Demand continues to be biased towards light-trucks and away from cars. Auto lending remains healthy, but this could be impacted by future interest rate hikes.
Growth of the Portuguese economy in 4Q16 reached 0.6% QoQ1, once again causing positive surprise (BBVA Research forecast 0.3% QoQ), albeit lower than that seen in the previous quarter (0.9% QoQ). As a result Portugal ended 2016 with GDP growth of 1.4% YoY, less than the 1.6% YoY posted in 2015, but slightly more than the BBVA Research forecast of mid-2016 (1.2%).
Every economic policy has intended and unintended consequences. The significant increase in Spain’s legal minimum wage in 2017 will barely have any effect on employment or economic activity. Therefore in principle the measure’s success will lie in the attainment of the objectives presumably pursued: improving the income of workers whose wages are tied to the minimum wage.
Weekly economic update focusing on the major economic indicators to be released the week of March 13, 2017. Special topic: the U.S. trade deficit