Another Month Going into the Books

May 30, 2014

There have been several Japanese data releases on this final business day in May.

  • Industrial production sank 2.5% in April, trimming the 12-month increase to 4.1% from 7.4% in March.  Officials project an increase of 1.7% in May followed by a 2.1% slump in June, and they reclassified the assessment of industrial production to “appears flat” from “continues to show upward improvement,” which had been the view since September 2013.  The inventory-to-shipments ratio dropped 1.8% last month. 
  • On-year growth in motor vehicle production slowed to 3.4% in April from 14.0% in May.
  • Core CPI inflation in April accelerated to 3.2%, most in 23 years 2 months, from 1.3% in March.  The bulk of this advance reflected the 3-percentage point consumption tax hike.
  • Tokyo core consumer prices rose 0.3% on month in May and 2.8% on year after 2.7% in April.  Energy jumped 4.3% on month in May.
  • Real household consumption dropped 4.6% on year in April following a 7.2% rise in March.  Among working families, real disposable income was 7.0% lower than in April 2013.
  • The jobless rate stayed at 3.6% in April.  Employment was 0.4% greater than in April 2013, and the job offers-to-seekers ratio edged up 0.01 to a 7-year high of 1.08.
  • Housing starts were 3.3% lower in April than a year before after a 2.9% on-year drop in March.
  • Construction orders soared 104.9% in the year to April versus an 8.8% drop in March.

The dollar lost 0.2% against the yen overnight and has dipped 0.1% relative to the euro, Swiss franc, Aussie dollar, Canadian dollar, New Zealand dollar and sterling.  The dollar is 0.2% firmer versus the yuan, however.

Share prices in the Pacific Rim dropped 1.8% in Indonesia, 0.9% in South Korea, 0.5% in Australia, 0.4% in Taiwan, 0.3% in Japan, and 0.2% in Singapore.  The Paris Cac, British Ftse, and Zurich SMI are down by 0.7%, 0.2% and 0.3%.  The German Dax is steady, and stocks are up in Spain and Italy.

The yields on 10-year British gilts and German bunds are three and two basis points higher.  The 10-year Japanese government bond yield is unchanged at 0.57%.

Gold and WTI oil have drifted 0.2% and 0.3% lower to $1,254.20 per ounce and $103.26 per barrel.

A central banking conference continues today at Stanford University.  KC Fed President Esther George expressed the wish for a rate hike sooner rather than later and even before the large Federal Reserve balance sheet has been trimmed.  Fed speakers today will included Plosser, Lacker, and Williams.

Australian M3 and private credit were 6.9% and 4.6% greater in April than a year earlier.  New Zealand M3 money advanced 5.3% in the year to April.  Following declines of 8.6% in January and 1.7% in February, New Zealand building permits rebounded 8.3% in March and 1.5% in April.  April’s increase surprised analysts who had predicted a decline.

The Austrian purchasing managers index for manufacturers fell to a 13-month low of 50.9 in May from 51.4 in April.

German retail sales volume in April dropped 0.9% in April but posted a 3.4% advance from a year earlier.  Easter fell in April this year but in March during 2013.  Retail sales in April were 0.6% lower than their first-quarter average level.

GFK reported that British consumer confidence improved three points to a reading of zero in May, the first non-negative score since before the Great Recession.

Portuguese industrial production was 4.1% greater than a year earlier in April, but retail sales recorded a 0.2% downtick.  Spain’s current account deficit narrowed 34% on month to EUR 1.85 billion in March.

Italian producer prices posted a 1.5% on-year drop in April versus a decline of 1.6% in the year to March.  Icelandic, Cypriot and Austrian producer prices were 3.3%, 4.4% and 1.3% lower in April than a year before, but Greek producer prices managed to edge 0.4% higher in that span.

The Swiss index of leading economic indicators dropped two points to 99.8 in May.

Greek retail sales volume posted a drop of 0.8% from a year earlier in April, whole the value of retail sales slumped by a much greater 3.4%.

Swedish real GDP edged down 0.1% last quarter, cutting the on-year growth rate by over a percentage point to 1.9%.

Polish GDP grew 1.1% on quarter and 3.4% on year in 1Q14.

South African M3 money and private domestic credit respectively climbed 7.0% and 8.3% in the year to April.

Scheduled U.S. data releases today include the Chicago and Milwaukee purchasing managers surveys, national personal income and spending, and the Reuters/U. Michigan revised measure of consumer confidence.  Canada reports March and first-quarter GDP data, as well as producer and raw material prices.  The Central Bank of the Republic of Colombia reveals its latest interest rate decision.

Copyright 2014, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

Tags: ,


Comments are closed.