Ok, we just got some data out of South Korea.
Well, it’s notable. And unfortunately, you kind of have to care to the extent it matters for the global economic outlook. Here’s the trade data:
- SOUTH KOREA JULY EXPORTS RISE 19.5% Y/Y; EST. 15.9%
- SOUTH KOREA JULY IMPORTS RISE 14.5% Y/Y; EST. 15.0%
That exports number is a ‘bigly’ beat. Here’s the visual:
So that blew away estimates and it marks seven straight double-digit prints.
Here’s the trade surplus implied by today’s numbers:
But it wasn’t all good news. South Korea’s manufacturing PMI returned to contraction territory after a brief expansionary stint last month.
That’s the weakest reading since March.
Here are some excerpts from the press release:
The South Korean manufacturing sector returned to contraction during July, led by a sharp reduction in output. New orders were little changed on the month, undermined by a further reduction in new export orders. Moreover, manufacturers sought to meet sales directly from stock whilst simultaneously reducing their backlogs of work. Underwhelming sales trends occurred in spite of a marked reduction in output charges, although margins were protected by a slight reduction in input prices. Meanwhile, optimism about the future was the weakest in three months. The headline Nikkei South Korea Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ slipped below the 50.0 no-change mark in July, declining to 49.1. Down from June’s 50.1, July’s reading was the weakest since March.
“Nine Asian manufacturing PMIs have just been released [and] seven showed declines from a month earlier, which represents a sudden fracture in the risk positive outlook we’ve been presenting, particularly for Asia,” Bloomberg’s Mark Cudmore writes, adding that “amid a supportive macro environment, investors will likely overlook this negative data blip for now.”
Yes… “for now.”