RIYADH: Japan’s services sector activity expanded for the first time in four months in April, as consumer sentiment recovered after the government lifted coronavirus curbs following a decline in domestic omicron infections.
The final au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a seasonally adjusted 50.7 from the previous month’s final of 49.4. That was also better than a 50.5 flash reading for April.
The figure marked the first expansion since December.
“The easing of COVID-19 restrictions allowed customer-facing businesses to operate more freely in April,” said Usamah Bhatti, economist at S&P Global, which compiles the survey.
China’s exports grow
China’s exports grew 3.9 percent in April from a year ago, beating analysts’ expectations, while imports were unchanged, customs data showed on Monday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected exports to rise 3.2 percent after a 14.7 percent gain in March.
Imports were expected to have fallen 3 percent after easing 0.1 percent in the previous month.
China posted a trade surplus of $51.12 billion in April, versus a forecast for a $50.65 billion surplus in the poll. The country reported a $47.38 billion surplus in March.
Indonesia Q1 economic growth
Indonesia’s economy grew for the fourth straight quarter between January and March as COVID-19 restrictions continued to be relaxed, statistics bureau data showed on Monday.
Gross domestic product in Southeast Asia’s largest economy expanded 5.01 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year, compared with 5.02 percent in the October-December period in 2021. A Reuters poll of analysts estimated the economy would grow 5 percent.
On a quarterly, non-seasonally adjusted basis, the economy contracted 0.96 percent, compared with 1.06 percent growth in October-December and forecasts of a 0.89 percent decline.
Egypt’s spending to rise by 15%
Egypt expects spending to rise by 15 percent and its budget deficit by 14.5 percent in the fiscal year that begins on July 1 as it faces fallout from the Ukraine crisis and continued pain from the coronavirus pandemic, the finance minister told parliament on Monday.
Spending for the 2022/23 fiscal year will rise to 2.07 trillion Egyptian pounds ($112 billion) from a projected 1.79 trillion pounds this year, he said, presenting his draft budget to lawmakers.
Revenue will increase to a projected 1.52 trillion from 1.3 trillion pounds in 2021/22. This will result in a deficit of 558.2 billion pounds, up from 487.7 billion.
The budget deficit is forecast at 6.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2022/23, down from an estimated 6.2 percent in the current financial year.
The government forecasts that economic growth will slow marginally to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent this year and that inflation will remain steady at 9 percent.
US profit forecasts weaken
With first quarter US earnings in the final stretch, corporate growth expectations for the current quarter and 2022 mostly are declining as costs surge for oil and other supplies and interest rates rise.
Sky-high oil has boosted forecasts for energy company earnings while feeding into concerns about profit margins for many other S&P 500 industries.
Disappointing outlooks from Amazon.com, Netflix and other major players have stood out among recent reports, even as the first quarter’s estimated year-over-year profit growth has risen to 10.4 percent from 6.4 percent at the start of April, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
As of Friday, analysts had lowered their overall forecast for S&P 500 second quarter profit growth to 5.6 percent from 6.8 percent at the start of April, while the full-year forecast has held at 8.8 percent, based on Refinitiv data.
The 2022 growth estimate, however, drops to about 5 percent without the energy sector’s growth — a sizable impact for a sector that accounts for just 4 percent of the S&P 500’s market capitalization.
“There will be more downside given the oil shock that we saw,” said Ohsung Kwon, US equity strategist at BofA Securities in New York.
“It’s going to take some time for this to play out,” he said. “It’s not just from energy; it’s overall inflation, plus the higher rate environment.”
With input from Reuters