Overseas Headlines – May 15, 2017


Germany’s upturn set to continue in coming months: Economy Ministry
Germany’s economy is expected to grow robustly, the Economy Ministry said in its monthly report on Monday, with public and private consumption continuing to increase strongly and moderate export growth expected. Solid expansion of 0.6 percent in the first quarter was reflected in employment levels, with new jobs being created in almost all sectors of the economy. The ministry expected seasonally adjusted unemployment to continue to fall in the coming three months. “The German economy started the current year well,” the ministry said in a statement. “The upturn in the German economy should continue at a solid pace in the coming months. All indicators are at a high level. “Global growth has been reviving so far this year, the ministry said, and will be stronger than last year, with indicators pointing broadly to moderate growth in German exports.


China’s economy loses momentum as policymakers clamp down on debt risks
China’s growth took a step back in April after a surprisingly strong start to the year, as factory output to investment to retail sales all tapered off as authorities clamped down on debt risks in an effort to stave off a potentially damaging hit to the economy. Waking up to the systemic threat posed by cheap credit-fueled stimulus since the 2008-9 global financial crisis, Beijing has continued to tighten the screws on speculative financing over the past several months. Data on Monday highlighted the broad economic impact of these regulatory curbs, with below-forecast factory output in April and fixed-asset investment in the first four months of the year reinforcing evidence of a weakening manufacturing sector and slowing momentum in the world’s second-biggest economy. “If anything (the slowdown) is even faster than we expected,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics in Singapore in an interview before the data was released. However, “we’re still some way off from the economy weakening to the point where it will test the tolerance of policymakers…as the urgency to address some of these financial risk issues (is even greater),” he said. Factory output was up 6.5 percent in April from a year earlier, down from 7.6 percent in March, and fixed-asset investment rose 8.9 percent in the first four months of the year, off the 9.2 percent pace in Jan-March.


Yields fall from highs after weak NY manufacturing data
Treasury yields fell from session highs on Monday after a New York state manufacturing survey turned negative for the first time since October, adding to a recent string of weakening data. The Empire State manufacturing survey fell to a reading of minus 1 in April, compared with a gain of 5.2 in April. It came after weaker-than-expected U.S. consumer inflation data for April on Friday diminished the view that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates more than once for the rest of the year. “We’re being aided by the weaker empire number,” said Justin Lederer, an interest rate strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New
York. “Things have softened in the last few weeks.” The Consumer Price Index grew 2.2 percent on a 12-month basis through April, slower than March’s 2.4 percent gain. This raised concerns the core rate of personal consumption expenditure would take longer than previously thought for inflation to reach the Fed’s 2-percent goal. Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 2/32 in price to yield 2.34 percent, down from 2.35 percent before the data was released. The yields fell to 2.32 percent overnight, aided by safety buying after North Korea fired a ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russia on Sunday. Futures traders have reduced expectations that the Fed will raise rates in June, though a rate increase that month is still viewed as likely.