Jump to content

Aussie growth underwhelms: APAC brief 7 June

Sign in to follow this  
MaxIG

Aussie growth underwhelms: Australian GDP data was the highlight of the economic calendar yesterday. All-in-all, the data was of minimal impact, though it did for make big headlines: the growth rate came-in at 1.8 per cent on an annualized basis, as expected – the slowest rate of economic growth since the GFC. A poor print undoubtedly, but one that had been priced into the market well in advance. Hence, markets were little moved upon the release. The ASX200 hardly budged. The Australian Dollar lifted very slightly, and temporarily tussled with the 0.7000 handle. And interest rate markets increased very marginally the probabilities of more RBA cuts by year-end.

Where the weakness is: The data was more of interest for economists and other pedants. And there were some interesting takeaways from the release. As is well known, one of the major headwinds for domestic growth is private consumption, which continued to show signs of slowing. The savings ratio also lifted, as consumers seemingly opted to defer spending and pocket their modest pay rises. More than just demand side concerns, there was also a noteworthy drag on growth from the supply side. Dwelling investment also contracted in the last year, in line with what has been a well-publicised slowdown in construction activity, and sustained falls in the property market.

Where growth is coming from: The GDP data wasn’t without its silver linings, of course. A series of factors leapt-out as the primary drivers of growth in the Australian economy in the past 12 months. It was largely improvements in the nation’s terms of trade, courtesy of the major multi-month rally in iron ore, followed by big government spending measures, mostly in form of the NDIS and other health services, that proved the greatest contributors to growth. Though welcomed, to be sure, the areas of Australia’s economy sustaining growth speaks of a country currently working below its capacity, and in need of some sort of a boost.

Why the RBA is cutting rates: It’s this dynamic that explains, and perhaps even vindicates, the RBA’s decision to lower interest rates on Tuesday. Domestic economic conditions are weak (and likely softening), and requires a little policy support, from central bankers and government alike, to stimulate ongoing employment and GDP growth. Based on such a logic, the pricing-in of interest rate cuts into the back end of the year appear highly rational. And this seems especially so when considering that (as was alluded to by the RBA on Tuesday afternoon), international economic growth is likely to slow, if not falter, due to the pernicious consequences of an escalating global trade-war.

1.jpg

Risk-appetite lifts overnight: Which leads to the overnight price action in North America, and to a somewhat lesser extent, Europe. Risk appetite has been piqued by news that US President Donald Trump stated his belief that Mexico wants a trade-deal to happen, as well as comments from Trump trade-advisor Peter Navarro that the tariffs on Mexico may not have to go ahead. The headlines (and really, for now that’s all they are) stoked a rally in US equity indices; catalysed a fall in the VIX; lead to a narrowing of corporate credit spreads; and provided room for a bounce in the US Dollar,

Sentiment improves, fundamentals haven’t: The question becomes now whether we’ve put-in a new low in global equities, or whether this is just a little fake-out. There is lingering suspicion that it may be closer to the latter, given the fact that although friendly words are being passed between the Americans and Mexicans, nothing has truly changed yet. Even more to the point, the Americans and Chinese have in no way thawed their present animosity towards one another. It suggests that although market sentiment has clearly improved in the last few days, the fundamentals haven’t changed. They could, by all means: but signs of that aren’t here yet.

The better measures of fundamentals: Probably the more pertinent facts here, too, is US stocks’ rally is very “defensive” in nature, and has been ignited mostly by an ostensibly dovish pivot from the Fed. Despite all the confidence that markets have reached a fresh turning point, US Treasuries are still rallying, especially at the front end of the curve. It suggests that the market is assuming the Fed will cut aggressively, and soon, to try to engineer a “soft-landing” for the US economy. The sectors in the S&P500 that have outperformed overnight are safe, yield-generating stocks – not those typically tied to greatest optimism about fundamental economic growth.

2.jpg

Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia

  • Like 1
Sign in to follow this  


0 Comments

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Statistics

    • Total Blogs
      3
    • Total Entries
      586
  • Latest Forum Topics

  • Our picks

    • A US-China trade deal?; hope for Brexit breakthrough; IMF updates on economic outlook - DailyFX Key Themes
      UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar stirred hope when they both offered enthusiasm after their meeting, saying there was a “pathway” forward as they discussed the contentious border. That was followed by a meeting between the EU’s main negotiator Michel Barnier and UK Brexit minister Stephen after which it was stated they 'look forward to these intensified discussions in the coming days'. Though nothing material has yet been agreed to, this seems like a meaningful break owing to the language alone. Neither side has voiced confidence in their discussions for some time, so this does represent a significant change. 
      • 0 replies
    • Dividend Adjustments 14 Oct - 21 Oct
      Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 14 Oct 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 
      • 0 replies
    • Trade wars; recession fears grow; gold's position - DailyFX Key Themes
      We have been unofficially engaged in a global trade war since March 2018. That is when the United States moved forward with a tariff on imported metals (steel and aluminum) from any destination outside of the country.

      As it currently stands, we are still awaiting another wave of products receiving a hefty tariff rate upgrade in approximately two months’ time while talks are set to resume on Thursday between the two parties. That said, reports over the weekend indicated China was not impressed with the Trump administration’s most recent efforts to find middle ground.
      • 0 replies
×
×