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Week Ahead: Flash PMI to reveal APAC economic health and growth trends

May 20, 2024
Various denominations of U.S. dollar bills scattered, symbolizing financial markets and economic trends. Featured in VT Markets article on Flash PMI and APAC economic health.

The flash PMI data release slated this week in India, Japan, and Australia will be closely watched by investors and analysts. April’s data highlighted robust growth across these economies. India continued to grow at one of the strongest rates seen in the past 14 years. Australia’s expansion was running close to a two-year high, while Japan’s economy was gaining momentum, with the PMI rising to an eight-month high.

With May’s PMI data on the horizon, these data points are integral to assess whether growth trends are continuing and their implications for regional economic policies. Strong PMI data can bolster investor confidence, suggesting that businesses are experiencing favorable conditions and potential profitability. Conversely, weaker-than-expected data could signal economic challenges ahead, prompting cautious investor behavior.

Other parts of the world also on tenterhooks

Central bank meetings in New Zealand, South Korea, Indonesia, and Turkey will also be under scrutiny this week. While no changes in monetary policy settings are expected, any statements or signals regarding future policy directions will be significant. Investors will be attentive to how these central banks navigate evolving economic conditions.

In New Zealand, analysts will look for clues on how the Reserve Bank of New Zealand plans to tackle inflation while supporting economic growth. In South Korea, the Bank of Korea’s outlook on export-driven economic recovery and domestic consumption will be pivotal.

Bank of Indonesia’s stance on maintaining stability amid global economic uncertainties will be key, while the Central Bank of Turkey’s approach to managing high inflation and currency stability will be closely monitored.

After weeks of turbulence, Japan’s inflation data will also be in focus. The au Jibun Bank PMI has indicated rising cost pressures due to a weakening yen, driving up import prices. A rising Consumer Price Index (CPI) trend could fuel expectations of a rate hike by the Bank of Japan, marking a potential shift in its longstanding accommodative policy stance.

How important is May’s flash PMI data?

The flash PMI data for May will be a gauge of economic growth at the midpoint of the second quarter. April’s data provided a mixed picture. The United Kingdom saw its composite PMI hit a 12-month high, suggesting that the brief recession from late last year is over. The Eurozone’s HCOB PMI signaled a gathering recovery, reaching an 11-month high.

In contrast, the US saw its growth rate slow to a four-month low, with the PMI falling below that of both the Eurozone and the UK. This slowdown was driven by the first decline in new orders in six months and a corresponding reduction in hiring.

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Such a shift could influence expectations regarding the timing of rate cuts, with speculation that Europe may see lower rates as early as June, while US cuts might not occur until later in the year.

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