Earlier today, the Japanese statistics office released the preliminary numbers for the second quarter GDP. The numbers showed that the economy rose by an annualized rate of 1.9% in the second quarter. This was higher than the expected 1.4% annualized rate and the Q1 contraction of 0.9%. The growth in the GDP in the quarter was mostly because of increased capital expenditure which rose by 1.3%. This was higher than the expected growth of 0.6%. Another reason for the growth was the increase in private consumption, which rose by 0.7% in the quarter, higher than the expected 0.2%.
The growth was hampered by external demand which contracted by minus 0.1%. Traders were expecting it to remain unchanged at 0.1%. This was a reflection of the challenging trade environment. During the quarter, there was a disruption in trade as the US initiated tariffs on steel and aluminium. In addition to the GDP numbers, the country released the PPI numbers which beat analysts’ forecasts. The PPI in July rose by 3.1%, which was higher than the expected 2.9%.
The expansion in the Japanese economy was released a week after the United States released its GDP numbers for the second quarter. The numbers for the United States rose by 4.1%, which was the fastest increase since 2014 and was a reflection of the positive impacts of the tax reform and the spending package released earlier this year. Traders are now waiting for more data to predict whether the economy will continue moving higher in the third quarter.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) released the first preliminary numbers for the UK GDP. The numbers showed that the economy rose slightly in the second quarter. On an annualized basis, the economy rose by 1.3%, which was expected. In the first quarter, the economy had expanded by 1.3%. On a quarterly basis, the economy rose by 0.4%.
On another positive note, the manufacturing production in June rose by 0.4%, which was higher than the expected 0.3%. It was nonetheless lower than the 0.6% gain in May. On an annual basis, the manufacturing production rose by 1.5%, which was higher than the expected 1.5%. The industrial production too of 1.1% growth was better than the expected 0.7% gain. The trade balance in June of 11.38 billion pounds was better than the expected 12.05 billion pounds and the balance in May of 12.52 billion pounds.