Monday, October 24, 2011

Europe, China, and Japan - Economic Outlooks (Seeking Alpha)

Eurozone heading for recession... As politicians agonizingly attempt to solve the eurozone's debt crisis, preliminary PMI figures for October show the bloc heading for recession. The reading dropped to 47.2 from 49.1 in September, indicating that the rate of contraction increased, with services and manufacturing PMI falling. German manufacturing fell for the first time in two years, while French services activity plummeted. "On past form, the headline index is now consistent with a quarterly contraction in GDP of around 1%," said Capital Economist's Ben May.

...but China and Japan show resilience. China's manufacturing sector returned to expansion in October as HSBC's PMI index rose to a preliminary five-month high of 51.1 in October from 49.9 in September. "All these data confirm our view that there is no risk of a hard landing in China," HSBC said. Meanwhile, Japan posted a ¥300.4B ($3.9B) trade surplus in September as exports rose 2.4% year-on-year to ¥5.98T, with both indicators topping forecasts and recovering all their losses since the March earthquake. Exports grew despite the yen's strength, the EU debt crisis and slowing overseas growth, although these factors are still a threat.

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