The Economic Week Ahead

Signs of rising price pressures, including a resurgence in oil, are bringing central banks back into play, and the markets are responding. The pound was given extra rocket by a BoE dove Vlieghe who turned hawkish, saying that a hike could come “as early as in the coming months.” This was notable as Vlieghe has been one of the most dovish members on the policy committee (the only dissenter in favor of cutting rates in July 2016, before the Brexit vote). The markets are now discounting a rate hike at the November MPC meeting. Meanwhile, the FOMC meets this week and all eyes will be on the dot-plot and whether one more tightening remains in the cards for this year. Other monetary policy meetings include the BoJ, the Philippines BSP, the Taiwan CBC, and Bank Indonesia. Meanwhile the German General Elections are on the doorstep next weekend.

United States: The U.S. focus will be firmly on the FOMC this week (Tuesday, Wednesday), and particularly QT and the dot plot. Despite the various risk events of late, the Fed is widely expected to announce the start of the unwind of the balance sheet, which will be very gradual in nature as per the path it laid out in June. Of more importance will be the dot-plot forecasts and what they suggests about rate moves this year and through 2019. Data is relatively light this week, with a concentration on housing numbers, with manufacturing and trade price reports as well. However, hurricane disruptions will limit their usefulness.August housing starts (Tuesday) are projected to dip modestly to 1.150 mln after tumbling 4.8% to 1.155 mln in July. Existing home sales for August (Wednesday) should bounce 0.7% to a 5.47 mln unit pace, after falling 1.3% in July to 5.44 mln. Sales have fallen in 4 of the 7 months to date, thanks in large part to lack of inventory. The September NAHB homebuilder sentiment survey (Monday) should be unchanged. Markit manufacturing and services PMIs for September (Friday) will be impacted. The Philly Fed manufacturing index (Thursday) is expected to be little changed at 18.0 in September.

Canada: Canada’s calendar features key economic data releases this week that will fine tune BoC expectations for the October 25 meeting. The CPI (Friday) is expected to expand 0.2% in August (m/m, nsa) . Retail sales (Friday) are expected to grow 0.3% in July (m/m, sa) after the 0.1% rise in June. Manufacturing sales (Tuesday) are expected to fall 1.5% in July (m/m, sa) after the 1.8% drop in June. A 4.9% plunge in export values in July after the 5.0% drop in June drives our projection for July manufacturing shipments. Wholesale sales (Thursday) are expected to fall 1.0% in July (m/m, sa) after the 0.5% drop in June. The international securities transactions report for July is due Monday. Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lane delivers a speech on Monday titled “How Canada’s International Trade is Changing with the Times”. His speech will be available at 14:00 ET.

Europe: Central banks and geopolitical risks continue to take center stage. Comments from ECB speakers this week, including Draghi, as well as the ECB’s latest economic bulletin, are likely to confirm that the central bank is heading for another QE extension but with reduced monthly purchase volumes. All the while, the German general election on September 24 is coming into view. Polls are giving Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU party a very large lead, but not enough votes for an absolute majority. Hence, Germany is almost certainly headed for a yet another Merkel-led coalition government, and most likely once again with the socialist SPD as the junior partner. The first round of confidence surveys for September in the form of ZEW and PMI readings will be important for the overall outlook.  The  September ZEW Economic Sentiment index (Tuesday) is seen rising to 12.0  from August’s 10.0 print. Meanwhile,  a moderation in the manufacturing PMI to 57.2 from the prior 57.4 is expected, while the services reading is expected to rise slightly to 54.9 from 54.7 in August. The data calendar also has German producer price inflation for July, the final reading of French Q2 GDP and Eurozone current account and BoP data for July.

UK: Sterling markets will continue to digest the BoE’s unexpectedly hawkish statement of last Thursday, which laid the groundwork for a rate hike before year-end. A 25 bp rate hike at the November Monetary Policy Committee meeting is widely expected, which would reverse the “emergency” post-Brexit vote rate cut from August 2016. November is the logical choice for what would be the first tightening by the BoE since 2007, since this is the month that the next quarterly edition of the inflation report is due. The October EU Summit will have come and gone by then, and, hopefully, the Brexit process will be clearer. The calendar this week is fairly quiet. September data will start to make an appearance, including the Rightmove house price index (Monday) and the CBI industrial trends survey (Friday). While there is a chance for a post-summer activity in the housing market, hence the house price data expected to show fresh signs of slowing, a process which has been driven in recent months by a drop off in demand with average household finances having been pressured by the rise in inflation and weak pay awards. The CBI survey, meanwhile, should reaffirm that the production sector of the economy remains in relatively rude health, aided by exchange rate competitiveness and strong global growth. August retail sales data are also due (Wednesday), where a modest 0.2% m/m lift is anticipated.

New Zealand: has Q2 GDP (Thursday), which expected to grow 0.9% after the 0.5% gain in Q1 (q/q, sa). The current account is expected to shift to a -NZ$100 mln deficit from the NZ$244 mln surplus in Q1. The general election will take place on Saturday. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand meets next on September 28. No change is expecred to the current 1.75% rate setting through year-end. Grant Spencer takes over as acting governor on September 27 for a six month stint. Governor Wheeler is retiring as his term ends. A permanent successor will be appointed in 2018.

Japan: Japan is closed Monday for Respect-for-the Aged Day. The BoJ begins its 2-day policy meeting (Wednesday) with the announcement (Thursday). No changes are expected to the Bank’s ultra-loose policy, given the cool inflation backdrop. The August trade report (Wednesday) should see a narrowing in the surplus to JPY 50.0 bln from 421.7 bln previously. The July all-industry index (Thursday) should fall 0.2% m/m versus the prior 0.4% increase..

Australia: The minutes to the September meeting are due Tuesday. Assistant Governor (Economic) Luci Ellis speaks at the Australian Business Economists (ABE) conference, Sydney (Wednesday). Governor Lowe discusses “The Next Chapter” at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia Business Briefing, Perth (Thursday). The Q2 housing price index (Tuesday) highlights a sparse calendar of economic data this week.

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Andria Pichidi

Market Analyst


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