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  • 2019-03-29 02:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan survey for March will show a drop in sentiment among many business sectors, hit by the slowing Chinese economy and heightened uncertainty over the global demand, with the caution set to remain in coming quarters economists forecast.

    The median economist forecast for the headline diffusion index (DI) for sentiment among major manufacturers is +14, down from +19 in December, with forecasts from eight economists ranging from +11 to +16.

    Companies, particularly major manufacturers, have been hit by falling exports as China slows and capital investment levels overseas weaken.

    Non-manufacturers continue to struggle with labour shortages, although they have seen some benefit from high numbers of overseas visitors to Japan.

  • 2019-03-28 20:17


    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's industrial production posted the first month-on-month rise in four months in February but the gain was weak compared with the drop over the past three months, with the Bank of Japan maintaining its cautious view on the outlook.

    February industrial production, a key piece of analytical data for BOJ economists, rose 1.4% on month following falls of 3.4% in January, 0.1% in December and -.0% in November, preliminary data released Friday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed.

    February's rise, above than the MNI median forecast of a 1.0% gain, was due mainly to higher output of motor vehicles, information and communication electronics equipment and general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery.

    In a statement, METI left

  • 2019-03-28 19:56


    --Tokyo March Core CPI Rises 1.1% Y/Y Vs +1.1% in February

    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan remains cautious of the overall outlook on prices, as the annual pace of inflation in Tokyo, a leading indicator of the national average, was unchanged in March from the previous month.

    Tokyo core CPI rose 1.1% on year in March, unchanged from February, with the gain still largely due to the higher positive contribution from crude prices (+0.45 percentage points in March vs. +0.44 pts in Feb).

    In bright spots for BOJ economists to focus on, prices for household durable goods rose 10.2% on year in March, accelerating from a 5.0% gain in February.

    Also, foods prices excluding perishable foods rose 0.9% on year, also accelerating from 0.7% in February.

  • 2019-03-28 11:45


    By Yali N'Diaye

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Monthly GDP by industry is expected to hold steady in January following two months of contractions in November and December.

    A flat reading would add downside risk to the Bank of Canada's estimate of a 0.8% annualized GDP growth in the first quarter, after a 0.4% growth in the fourth quarter - not even half of the BOC's 1.3% estimate.

    --ENERGY A DRAG

    Mandated oil production cuts in Alberta in effect since January should weigh on the goods-producing sector.

  • 2019-03-28 02:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan survey for March will show a drop in sentiment among many business sectors, hit by the slowing Chinese economy and heightened uncertainty over the global demand, with the caution set to remain in coming quarters economists forecast.

    The median economist forecast for the headline diffusion index (DI) for sentiment among major manufacturers is +14, down from +19 in December, with forecasts from eight economists ranging from +11 to +16.

    Companies, particularly major manufacturers, have been hit by falling exports as China slows and capital investment levels overseas weaken.

    Non-manufacturers continue to struggle with labour shortages, although they have seen some benefit from high numbers of overseas visitors to Japan.

  • 2019-03-27 10:02


    By Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. current account deficit widened to -$134.4 billion in the fourth quarter, wider than the -$132.3b expected by MNI, from a revised -$126.6 billion gap in the previous quarter, data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department showed.

    Here are the key findings from the release:

    - The goods and services gap was the primary driver of the wider current account gap, widening to -$167.0 billion in the fourth quarter from -$162.0 billion in the third quarter.

    - The primary income surplus widened to $60.4 billion in the fourth quarter from $60.3 billion in the previous quarter, while the secondary income deficit widened to -$27.8 billion from -$24.9 billion in the third quarter.

  • 2019-03-27 08:40


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the January data on the Canadian merchandise trade released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - The goods trade deficit narrowed to C$4.2 billion, while analysts in a MNI survey had expected a deficit of C$3.5 billion, similar to the market consensus. The disappointing reading was reinforced by a revision to the December deficit estimate to C$4.8 billion from C$4.6 billion.

    - The smaller deficit was largely due to higher energy exports. Total exports rebounded 2.9% to C$47.6 billion, marking the first increase since July 2018. Much of the gain was price related, as real exports rose just 0.9%.

    - Crude oil prices soared 36.0%, driving crude oil exports up 36.5%.

  • 2019-03-27 08:30


    By Kevin Kastner, Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. international trade gap narrowed to $51.1 billion in January from a slightly revised $59.9 billion in December, a much smaller gap than the $57.0 billion deficit expected by the Bloomberg consensus and a $57.5 billion gap expected by an MNI survey, data released by the Commerce Department Wednesday morning showed.

    The December gap was the widest since 2008, so the narrower January gap is simply a return to a more normal level. Seasonal adjustment was a factor in December's widening, and the reverse occurred in January, with seasonal factors turning an unadjusted widening into a narrower gap.

  • 2019-03-27 07:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday morning:

    Mortgage applications increased 8.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 22, 2019.

    The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 8.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the previous week.

  • 2019-03-27 05:56


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The precise terms of new Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations "will depend on how the governing council assesses the banking lending outlook," the European Central Bank's chief economist Peter Praet said Wednesday.

    Praet acknowledged that several banks face a "cliff-edge" when existing loans come due, and said it was important to "avoid creating potential new cliffs in the future.

    "Monetary policy is working," he told an audience in Frankfurt, "but it has faced repeated headwinds."

    The ECB's Governing Council was faced with a "delicate call" at its March meeting, Praet said.