China: Stimulus is helping
China reports most of the economic data for May next week. The combined April-May data will be a good gauge of GDP growth in the current quarter and will be scrutinised for clues about the impact of the ongoing trade war with the US. The economy seems to be experiencing only tremors right now and growth appears to be holding up, as in the first quarter of the year.
This will probably continue to be the case for the second quarter, judging from consensus forecasts for most of the upcoming economic indicators, especially forecasts of steady to slightly better growth of fixed asset investment, retail sales and industrial production. The money and lending data will offer clues about the fiscal stimulus efforts, which remain supportive for the domestic economy at least. Export weakness is just starting to come through but low single-digit export declines are still better than the declines seen in regional economies.
India: Inflation test of latest RBI rate cut
India’s trade and industrial production figures will inform our view of where India’s GDP growth is heading in the current quarter after a surprisingly weak, five-year low of 5.8% in the last quarter. The weak GDP was a trigger for the Reserve Bank of India’s 25 basis points RBI rate cut this week – the third this year.
Consumer price inflation will also be in the spotlight following that decision. Inflation is creeping higher as rising food prices kick in after weak farm output growth in the last quarter, while the favourable base year effect is also nearing its end. We believe the RBI easing cycle is over for now (See "We were wrong on RBI policy, but for the right reasons").