The People’s Republic of China (PRC) last week reported a gross domestic product growth rate of 6.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017, up from 6.8% y-o-y in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016. The rise in the growth rate was driven by an increase in secondary industry, which grew 6.4% y-o-y in Q1 2017 compared with 6.1% y-o-y in Q4 2016. The PRC’s industrial production, as measured by the total value added of industrial enterprises, grew 7.6% y-o-y in March versus 6.3% y-o-y in January–February.
The PRC’s fixed asset investments grew 9.2% y-o-y in January–March, up from 8.9% y-o-y in January–February. All three industries— primary, secondary and tertiary—saw expanded investments during the review period.
March exports from Indonesia totaled USD14.6 billion and imports reached USD13.4 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of USD1.2 billion. For the first time since fiscal year 2010, Japan recorded a trade surplus amounting to JPY4.0 trillion for the fiscal year ending March 2017, following a trade deficit of JPY1.1 trillion in the previous year. Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports expanded for the fifth month in a row, growing 16.5% y-o-y in March after rising 21.1% y-o-y in February. Electronic and non-electronic exports, as well as exports to all top 10 trading partners and other emerging markets, showed positive growth.
In its meeting held on 18–20 April, Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governors decided to keep the 7-day reverse repurchase rate unchanged at 4.75%. The central bank also held steady the deposit facility rate at 4.00% and the lending facility rate at 5.50%.
Malaysia’s consumer price inflation in March further accelerated to 5.1% y-o-y from 4.5% y-o-y in February, hitting an 8-year high. The acceleration was due to a low base in 2016 and higher retail fuel prices this year, according to Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Per the latest data report from the Bank of Korea, the Producer Price Index in the Republic of Korea rose 4.2% y-o-y in March, following an increase of 4.3% y-o-y in February. The rise came mainly from increasing prices of manufacturing products and service-related activities.
Overseas Filipino personal remittances increased to USD2,397 million in February from USD2,396 million in January. The February figure was 3.3% higher over the same period a year earlier but was down from 8.5% y-o-y growth in the previous month and 8.3% y-o-y growth in February 2016.
China Jinmao Holdings Group in Hong Kong, China issued a CNY2.5 billion 3-year Panda bond last week in the PRC’s interbank bond market. The bond was issued with a coupon rate of 4.65%. Malaysia’s Cagamas raised USD350 million from a 3-year bond with a coupon rate of 2.53% in mid-April following a dual-currency bond issuance denominated in Malaysian ringgit and Singapore dollars. Last week, Singpaore’s Overseas Union Enterprise sold a SGD200 million 5-year bond priced at par to yield 3.75%.
Local currency government bond yields for the past week were mostly down in Hong Kong, China; Singapore, and Thailand; while bond yields were mostly up in Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Viet Nam. Government bond yields for all maturities rose in the PRC. Yield spreads between 2- and 10-year tenors widened in the PRC, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, while the yield spread narrowed in Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; Thailand; and Viet Nam.