Research

Kansai Economic Insight Monthly Vol.79 (November 2019)

Summary: The economy is deteriorating but likely to level off

▶ Production: Kansai’s Q3 production expanded YoY for the first time in three quarters.
▶  Nominal wages in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures increased, but real wages kept declining.
▶  Internatinoal trade: Kansai logged a trade surplus in October. However, both exports and imports shrank YoY.
▶  Business confidence: The October Diffusion Index dropped to 39.9, reflecting the reactionary fall after the rush demand in September.
▶  Construction: The number of new housing starts declined, but construction volume expanded YoY in Q3.
▶  Labor market: Nominal and real wages kept declining in August. The number of new job openings decreased and unemployment increased in September.
▶   Inbound sector: International arrivals at Kansai International Airport grew slightly YoY in October.
▶  Chinese economy: China’s PMI in October deteriorated to 49.3. Production, domestic consumption and fixed capital investment all saw decelerating growth rates. China’s international trade volume kept shrinking.

 

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    ▶ There was a major upward revision in Japan’s 2019 Q3 real GDP growth (+0.2%→+1.8% QoQ, annualized). The updated official figure coincides with APIR’s initial forecast.
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    2019 Q4 Forecasts
    ▶ Our forecast for Q4 real GDP growth is an annualized -4.5% QoQ (a downward revision from our previous forecast).
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    Kansai Economic Insight Monthly Vol. 80 (December 2019)

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    Summary: Kansai’s economy is deteriorating but likely to level off

    ▶  Production: Production in October declined after expanding in September.
    ▶  International trade: Although Kansai logged a trade surplus in November, exports and imports kept shrinking.
    ▶  Business confidence: The DI improved in November but it remains low.
    ▶  Wages: Both nominal and real wages kept declining in September.
    ▶  Labor market: The number of job openings decreased and unemployment increased in October.
    ▶  Consumption: Large retailers’ revenues in October slumped after the consumption tax hike.
    ▶  Housing: The number of new housing starts in October declined.
    ▶  Construction: The monetary value of construction investments in October kept rising.
    ▶   Inbound tourism: International arrivals at KIX in November grew despite the decline in Korean visitor numbers.
    ▶  Chinese economy: China’s PMI improved in November, surpassing the cutoff level of 50 for the first time in seven months. However, the future outlook remains unclear.

     

     

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    Overview: Stagnation concerns turning into reality due to weak domestic and external demand. Lack of robust source of growth a major risk in the future.

    ▶ Japan’s Q3 real GDP expanded an annualized +0.2%. Domestic demand propped up growth, while net exports supressed it.

    ▶ Our forecast for Kansai’s real GRP growth is +0.6% in FY 2019, +0.4% in FY 2020 and +0.7% in FY 2021. Private and public demand will make a balanced contribution to growth in FY 2019. In FY 2020, public demand will be the driver of growth. The lack of robust drivers of growth might become a concern by FY 2021.

    ▶ We estimated economic growth by prefecture in the past fiscal years, and we compared the economic impact of the consumption tax hike this year with the previous one in 2014. We conclude that the large increase in demand indicators in September this year was largely due to a recoil from the natural disasters last year.

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    Highlight: Global trade has bottomed out, but recovery remains uncertain

    ▶ Japan’s Q3 real GDP growth was an annualized +0.2% QoQ, well below expectations. APIR’s latest forecast for real GDP growth is +0.7% in FY2019, +0.4% in FY2020, and +0.7% in FY2021.

    ▶ Rush demand before the consumption tax hike this time was not as pronounced as in 2014. Although private consumption remains weak, we deem an economic recession in FY2019 is unlikely.

    ▶ The China-US trade conflict is taking its toll on global trade. As the effects of protectionist policies will extend into FY2020, the Japanese economy is not expected to get back on the path to recovery until FY2021.

    ▶ Future inflation will be influenced not only by energy and non-energy prices, but also by the consumption tax hike and the elimination of child care fees. We forecast a core CPI inflation of +0.6% in FY2019, +0.4% in FY2020, and +0.5% in FY2021.

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    Data updates
    ▶ Japan’s Q3 real GDP expanded an annualized +0.2% QoQ, well below expectations.
    ▶ In October, industrial production, plannned dwelling construction, capital goods shipments, real exports and imports all declined. Retail sales shrank by -14.4%, more than they did after the previous tax hike.

    Q4 Forecasts
    ▶ Our forecast for Q4 real GDP growth is an annualized -3.2%.
    ▶ We forecast an overall GDP deflator of +0.1% QoQ in Q4.

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    ▶ Both planned residential construction expenditure and capital goods shipments increased in Q3.
    ▶ Q3 real net exports expanded.

     

    Forecasts
    ▶ Our forecast for Q3 real GDP growth is an annualized +0.9%. This forecast is likely to be revised upwards once September data on private final consumption is released.
    ▶ We forecast an overall GDP deflator of +0.2% QoQ in Q3.

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