Fed minutes show more interest rate hikes ahead. The minutes of the Federal Reserve interest rate setting committee published on Wednesday show that several policy makers would have supported raising US interest rates last month even though they decided to leave them unchanged. The minutes also show that many officials were prepared to raise interest rates again this year. Citing the lagged impact of policy and other concerns, committee members reached a consensus and voted unanimously to pause the US central bank’s most aggressive series of interest rate hikes in decades. The pause allows them time to reassess the state of the economy and the effects of banking stresses on credit availability, amid concerns over economic growth.
Eurozone manufacturing downturn deepened as higher interest take their toll. The downturn in the eurozone manufacturing sector deepened in June, reflecting the impact of the European Central Bank’s interest rate increases over the past months. The HCOB Eurozone Manufacturing PMI plummeted to 43.4 in June from May’s 44.8 as factory output declined at the sharpest rate since October 2022, impacted by concerns on the price and supply of energy. June survey data signalled a third successive monthly reduction in manufacturing output levels across the eurozone. Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands reported their sharpest declines in business conditions for over three years. On the other hand, Greece reported improvement in manufacturing sector performance for the fifth month in a row.
Germany’s trade surplus contracted unexpectedly in May compared with April, as exports declined marginally and imports rose, indicating that domestic demand in Europe’s largest economy may be improving, notwithstanding a global economic slowdown. Exports from Germany unexpectedly fell by 0.1 percent month-on-month to 130.5 billion euro in May, missing the expectations of a 0.3 percent increase. During the same time, imports increased by 1.7 percent month-on-month to a three-month high of 116.1 billion euro, compared with the forecasts of a 3.1 percent increase. Germany recorded a trade surplus of 14.40 billion euro and missing consensus estimates at 17.5 billion euro compared to the previous month’s surplus of 18.4 billion euro.
China services sector activity slows in June. A measure of China’s services activities compiled by the private sector retreated in June, in line with an official index that also signalled a slower recovery in the services industry. The Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 53.9 in June, missing by a wide margin expectations of 56.2 and significantly below May’s reading of 57.1. June’s data was also the index’s second-worst reading this year. According to Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group, the foundation for economic recovery isn't solid yet and the recovery is still coming in behind expectations. Other challenges include weak internal growth momentum, below-average demand and mixed market expectations.
India's services sector growth eased to a three-month low in June but service providers continued to signal positive demand trends, which resulted in a stronger increase in new business volumes and further job creation, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday. The S&P Global India services PMI fell to 58.5 in June from 61.2 in May, and 62 in April. A poll of economists had forecast a reading of 60.2 for June. India's services PMI reading has been above the breakeven level of 50 for nearly two years, the longest streak since August 2011.
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