Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands
CAIRO: China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.
The grim set of figures indicate the world’s second largest economy is struggling to shake off the June quarter’s hit to growth from strict COVID-19 restrictions, prompting some economists to downgrade their projections.
Egypt’s unemployment rate
Egypt’s unemployment rate in April to June remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 7.2 percent, the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics announced on Monday.
Thai GDP grows
Thailand’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in a year in the second quarter as eased COVID-19 restrictions boosted activity and tourism, reinforcing views that more rate hikes will be needed to curb inflationary pressures.
The Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is making a steady recovery after the lifting of pandemic curbs but still faces headwinds ranging from inflation at 14-year highs to China’s slowdown and weaker global demand. Read full story
The government slightly revised its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent from an earlier 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent range. Last year’s 1.5 percent growth was among the slowest in Southeast Asia.
Japan’s economy expands
Japan’s economy expanded an annualized 2.2 percent in the April-June period to mark the third straight quarter of expansion on solid private consumption, government data showed on Monday.
The increase in gross domestic product was slower than a median market forecast for a 2.5 percent expansion. It translated into quarterly growth of 0.5 percent against market forecasts for a 0.6 percent rise.
Private consumption rose 1.1 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, compared with a median market forecast for a 1.3 percent increase, the data showed.