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World Economy

OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – October 2017

17

Graph 3 - 3: Japanese retail trade

Graph 3 - 4: Japanese PMIs

The latest

PMI

numbers confirmed a positive trend as they remained almost unchanged and above the

growth-indicating level of 50 in August. The manufacturing PMI stood at 52.9 in September, after 52.2 in

August and 52.1 in July. The services sector PMI slowed a bit, moving down to 51.0 in September,

compared to 51.6 in August. Moreover, the BoJ’s 4Q17 Tankan survey index reached a new multi-year high

at a level of 19, the highest level in 10 years.

The most recent developments confirm a solid underlying growth dynamic in the Japanese economy. Hence,

the 2017

GDP growth

forecast was revised up to 1.6%, mainly by taking the strong 1H17 into consideration,

while further upside may materialise in the 2H17. Moreover, the outcome of the upcoming elections will

certainly need close monitoring as also numerous challenges in the economy persist, and given the tight

labour market situation and high capacity utilisation rates, further growth advancements seem challenging.

The 2018 growth forecast remains unchanged at 1.2%.

South Korea

While geopolitical concerns on the Korean-Peninsula continue, the latest output data underpinned solid

momentum in the economy. Also, consumer sentiment is holding up and remains almost unchanged at a

record level since around 6 months.

Industrial production

rose by 2.6% y-o-y in August, rising from 2.1%

y-o-y in July and 1.6% y-o-y in June. Also the latest

PMI

number for the manufacturing sector in September

indicated an improvement, as it moved back above the growth indicating level of 50 to stand at 50.6, after

49.9 in August. As this positive momentum is already considered in the

GDP growth

forecast number, GDP

growth for 2017 remained at 2.7% in 2017. The growth figure for 2018 remains also unchanged at 2.4%.

OECD Europe

Euro-zone

The latest GDP growth numbers from the 1H17 confirm better-than-expected growth, a momentum that to

some extent is expected to be carried over into 2H17. As in the previous months, the positive trend is visible

on all economies, at varying rates, and seems to be well supported across the various sectors. One

important sector, however, that is continuing to face challenges is the banking sector, which has also led the

European Central Bank (ECB) to conclude that higher capital levels are needed for the still large share of

non-performing loans in in the Eurozone’s banking system. This may have some negative, while digestible,

impact in the near-term, as bank financing is a major source of funding for the important small and medium-

sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Euro-zone. This may also come in combination with raising interest rates as

the ECB has indicated that it may start to normalise its monetary policy in the coming year. Such a decision

may also be supported by again rising inflation and the general economic improvement in the economy.

Moreover, business sentiment has continued to reflect the bettering situation, with the European

Commission’s economic sentiment index improving to 113.0 in September, compared to 111.9 in August.

This is the highest level of the index in more than 10 years. Challenges in the Euro-zone remain. Beside the

1.7

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

Aug 16

Sep 16

Oct 16

Nov 16

Dec 16

Jan 17

Feb 17

Mar 17

Apr 17

May 17

Jun 17

Jul 17

Aug 17

Sources: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and

Haver Analytics.

% change y-o-y

51.0

52.9

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

Sep 16

Oct 16

Nov 16

Dec 16

Jan 17

Feb 17

Mar 17

Apr 17

May 17

Jun 17

Jul 17

Aug 17

Sep 17

Index

Sources: IHS Markit, Nikkei and Haver Analytics.

Services PMI

Manufacturing PMI