Economic recovery is proceeding apace in Asia and the US
Japan ‘Tankan’ survey
- Large companies were more positive about business conditions in Q1, and the outlook for Q2,
than at any time since Q4 2019, although this was more apparent among manufacturing
companies than services companies. Small enterprises remain considerably pessimistic,
although even small manufacturers are less so than at any time since Q4 2019.
- China’s ‘official’ PMIs (which give a larger weighting to SOEs) rose in March, particularly for the
non-manufacturing sector, which increased 4.9 ppts to 56.3, its highest in 5 months, while the
manufacturing PMI rose 1 ppt to 51.9. The ‘unofficial’ Caixin manufacturing sector (which gives
more weight to smaller firms) rose 1.3 ppts, also to 51.9.
US & Eurozone PMIs
- US and Eurozone manufacturing PMIs rose strongly to multi-decade highs in March – albeit
boosted by high readings for ‘prices paid’ (in the US above 80% for the third successive month).
US nonfarm payrolls
- Recovery continues. The 916K figure is strong; but nevertheless employment is 8.4 million, or
5.5%, below its pre-pandemic peak of February 2020. Unemployment edged down to 6.0%. The
Biden infrastructure spending plan stands to underpin the supply side longer term.
Chart of the week. Business can be done by video: tourism cannot
- Countries on the left have the strongest incentive to open to tourism. But with vaccination rates as yet low nearly everywhere, risks of doing so are high.