MNI China business sentiment rises
The MNI China business sentiment index rose to 55.5 in July—compared to 54.5 in the previous month. It released at the highest level since October 2015—mainly driven by an increase in output and new orders. However, the positive news was offset by a fall in the hiring plans, while there was a decline in Chinese (FXI) (MCHI) companies’ financial situations.
Industrial production in Taiwan rose again
Industrial production in Taiwan (EWT) grew by 0.88% on an annual basis for June—compared to a 1.9% rise in the previous month. Industrial production expanded for the second consecutive month after showing a decline in the previous 11 months. While manufacturing output and mining and quarrying in Taiwan rose by 1.6%, production of utilities like electricity and gas fell by 9.8%. On a monthly basis, industrial production fell by 0.81% in June. Retail sales rose by 0.47%—compared to a 0.94% increase in the previous month—driven by an increase in the sales of general merchandise, clothing, and pharmaceutical products. The unemployment rate in Taiwan remained unchanged at 4% in June—in line with the figure last month.
Japan’s manufacturing PMI remains below 50
Among other Asian (AAXJ) economies, the manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) for Japan (EWJ) stood at 49 in July—compared to 48.1 in the previous month and estimated forecasts of 48.3. While there was a slight rise in the employment rate, the fall in output and new orders as well as a decline in new export orders kept the index below the threshold level of 50.