Kansai Economic Insight Quarterly No. 40

2018-11-30

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▶ We forecast a real annualized GDP growth of +1.5% in Q2 (expenditure side). The production-side forecast is an annualized +2.1%. ▶ Q2 GDP growth was mainly driven by domestic demand, while net exports are expected to have made a negative contribution. ▶ The latest official figures suggest a robust increase in production, consumption and capital investment in Q2. However, this might be temporary, as the forecasts from the past month suggest a growth deceleration trend. ▶ Q2 CPI inflation is expected to have decelerated to a modest +0.1% QoQ. We forecast an overall GDP deflator of -0.1% QoQ.
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Summary: Further economic deterioration in sight

・ Production in May expanded MoM for the second month in a row. ・ Although Kansai registered a trade surplus for the first time in two months in June, both exports and imports shrank YoY. ・ The Economy Watchers' Diffusion Index (DI)  in June deteriorated MoM for the second consecutive month. ・ Both nominal and real wages in April decreased YoY for the second consecutive month. ・ Sales by large retailers in May expanded YoY for the first time in two months. ・ The number of new housing starts in May plummeted sharply (-27.5% YoY), decreasing for the second consecutive month. ・ Although the effective job offers-to-applicants ratio in May declined slightly, the absolute numbers of both job offers and applicants increased. The unemployment rate remained unchanged. ・ Construction works in May expanded YoY for the 15th month in a row. However, public works contracts declined. ・ The number of international arrivals at Kansai International Airport in June grew YoY for the ninth month in a row. ・ China's Q2 real GDP expanded +6.2% YoY, the slowest growth rate since 1992.