Asia Economy

Asia look ahead: Big week for Japan and China

What's on the agenda in Asia this week

Investors will get a pulse check on Asia's two largest economies, Japan and China, with a raft of data scheduled for release over the course of the week.

Starting with Japan, revised gross domestic product (GDP) on Monday showed the economy grew an annualized 3.9 percent in the January-March period, higher than the preliminary reading of a 2.4 percent increase.

The country's current account balance posted its tenth straight month of surplus in April at 1.3 trillion yen ($10.5 billion), but that was lower than Reuters forecasts for a 1.7 trillion yen surplus.

Meanwhile, machinery orders – a highly volatile data series - are due on Wednesday and are estimated to have fallen by 2 percent on-month in April, according to Reuters, following a 2.9 percent rise in March.

Read MoreWhy one strong quarter won't save Japan's year

China data dump

China will publish a raft of economic indicators for May, including trade balance on Monday, inflation on Tuesday, retail sales, industrial production, and fixed asset investment on Thursday.

"A very big week for Chinese data which will provide further guidance on the pace of economic activity," National Australia Bank (NAB) wrote in a note.

Trade figures are expected to show exports falling 5 percent on year and imports plunging 10.7 percent on year, according to a Reuters poll.

Sunrise over the financial district in Shanghai, China.
Jalvaran | Getty Images

Central banks in the spotlight

Asia-Pacific central banks will also be in focus, with the Bank of Thailand (BoT), Bank of Korea (BoK) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) meeting this week.

The BoT, which convenes on Wednesday, is expected to keep rates on hold at its monetary policy meeting after cutting rates twice in the last two meetings.

"The BoT will likely stay pat and wait to see if the rate cuts lift the economy," Moody's Analytics said.

It will also be a "wait and see" game for the BoK and RBNZ, both of which meet on Thursday.

In Korea, while softer export demand is hurting the economy, domestic demand has shown some signs of growth after March's rate cut. The central bank will want to monitor how this dynamic plays out, say economists.

In New Zealand, the central bank is expected to keep monetary policy steady, as preconditions outlined by the RBNZ at its April meeting for easing – including weak demand or wages that are inconsistent with the 1-3 percent inflation target – have not been met, said NAB.