Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

COVID-19 Cases May Curtail Consumer Demand

July 2020 – 3 min read
U.S. retail sales rose in June to realign with pre-crisis levels, though tightening restrictions and rising COVID-19 cases following the data seem to be weighing on spending. The Manufacturing PMI is expected to improve in July, and a new trade deal is in the works.


Arrows indicate consensus forecast compared to the previous period. Local dates of release.


  • Housing data are expected to improve in June amid solid fundamentals, pent-up demand and improvement in higher frequency indicators such as home purchase applications—which are above pre-crisis levels.
  • The Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI is expected to improve in July along with other manufacturing data as factories reopen and demand improves.


  • The EZ Markit Flash PMIs are largely expected to improve in July amid reopening measures, though services is anticipated to fare better than manufacturing due to weaker external demand.

Asia Pacific

  • The PBOC is expected to keep the one- and five-year loan prime rate steady at the July meeting, though they may have room to cut the Reserve Requirement Ratio.
  • We watch for Japan’s Markit Flash PMIs as high-frequency data suggests economic data has bottomed in Japan, but concerns are rising amid increased COVID-19 cases.
  • Markets in Japan will be closed on Thursday, July 23 and Friday, July 24 due to the Marine Day and Sports Day holidays.

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Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA

Chief Global Strategist & Head of the Barings Investment Institute

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