Central bank meetings are the highlight, and include those of FOMC, BoE, BoJ, Bank Indonesia, Bank of Thailand, and Taiwan. Fed Chairman Powell is expected to play Santa Claus by delivering a 25 bp rate hike, wrapped in a dovish spin. Geopolitics remain important risk factors amid signs that tariff worries, Treasury curve inversions, China’s deceleration, Brexit uncertainties, Italy’s budget battles, and French riots are exacerbating a global slowing.
United States: The US calendar is dominated by FOMC meeting (Tuesday,Wednesday). Data is light and won’t factor materially into FOMC’s stance. FOMC is universally expected to deliver a 25 bps rate hike to increase the target band to 2.25% to 2.50%. Along with FOMC, there is also risk of a partial government shutdown at the end of the week. There won’t be any significant or meaningful impact on the economy from a temporary shutdown, but it could add to market nervousness and worries about the effects of reduced stimulus next year.
There are only a few tier one economic numbers this week and none will impact the FOMC decision. November personal income (Friday) is expected to rise 0.3% after a solid 0.5% pace in October. Consumption is expected to rise 0.3%. The December Empire State index (Monday) is expected to dip from 23.3 to 21.0. The Philly Fed index (Thursday) is seen rising to 19.0 in December from 12.9 in November. Housing data are on tap, and all the November reports face downside risk from adverse weather and the California fires, but upside risk as prior disaster distortions are unwound. November durable goods orders (Friday) should rebound 1.7% in November, after a 4.3% October drop. The third reading on Q3 GDP growth (Friday) is expected unchanged at a 3.5% rate, though slower than Q2’s 4.1% clip.
Canada: It is a busy calendar and features several top-tier reports. Manufacturing shipments (Tuesday) are expected to rise 0.5% in October after the 0.2% gain in September. The CPI (Wednesday) is seen falling 0.4% m/m (nsa) in November after the 0.3% gain in October, as a 10% plunge in gasoline prices pulls the CPI lower relative to October. Retail sales (Friday) are projected to grow 0.5% in October after the 0.2% rise in September. GDP (Friday) is anticipated to rebound 0.1% in October after the 0.1% drop in September. BoC’s winter Business Outlook Survey (Friday) is expected to reveal a still upbeat outlook, although some caution may seep in given the daily swings in sentiment on the global trade outlook.
Europe: This week’s round of data releases should on the whole back the cautious stance of the central bank. The December German Ifo Business Climate (Tuesday) is expected to fall back to 101.7 from 102.0 in November, with the expectations reading in particular under pressure. The manufacturing sector looking shaky again amid fresh challenges for the automobile sector, which continues to struggle with emissions standards and the lingering diesel scandal, which has considerably undermined confidence, especially in Germany, where consumers are facing driving bans without compensation from producers.
Eurozone consumer confidence and German GfK consumer confidence (both Friday), are also likely to show the strain of negative headlines and dissatisfaction with government policies, despite ongoing improvement on labour markets and the forecasts for lower readings. The final reading of Eurozone CPI (Monday) is expected to confirm the core rate at just 1.0% y/y. The headline rate remains much higher at 2.0%, but remains impacted by base effects from energy prices, which are also underpinning very strong rates in German producer prices (Wednesday) and import price (Friday). The busy calendar also includes Eurozone trade and current account data as well as French consumption numbers and the final reading of French Q3 GDP. There also is ECB speak from Hansson (Wednesday).
UK: It’s “crystal clear” — in the words of European Commission President Juncker on Friday — that there won’t be any renegotiation by the EU, other than a clarification of the deal on offer. This suggests that the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU is headed for eventual failure in the UK Parliament. The parliamentary vote will be January; date undecided, but before the legislated deadline of January 21.
The calendar this week is busy and includes BoE’s December Monetary Policy Committee meeting (Thursday). However, this should prove to be a non-event for markets as no changes are all but certain. Data releases will be of limited interest given the now intense distraction of Brexit and associated political uncertainty in the UK. Data releases will be highlighted by the November inflation report, where CPI is expected to ebb to 2.3% from 2.4%. November retail ales and the third and final release of Q3 GDP are also due (Thursday and Friday, respectively).
Japan: BoJ announces policy (Wednesday, Thursday) with no changes expected. The November trade report (Wednesday) should see the deficit widen to JPY 700.0 bln from 450.0 bln previously. But there is risk from a weaker oil import bill. The October all-industry index (Thursday) is seen rising 1.5% from the prior 0.9% decline. November overall CPI (Friday) is penciled in sliding to a 0.7% y/y pace, half of the prior 1.4%, and to 0.9% y/y from 1.0% on a core basis.
Australia: The employment report (Thursday) is expected to reveal a 25.0k gain in November jobs after the 32.8k bounce in October. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 5.0%. The minutes to RBA’s December meeting are due on Tuesday. RBA held rates steady at 1.50% at the December 4 meeting. There are not any RBA speakers scheduled through year-end.
New Zealand’s calendar has Q3 GDP (Thursday), expected to slow to a 0.5% pace from the 1.0% rate of expansion in Q2 (q/q, sa). The trade deficit (Thursday) is projected to narrow to -NZ$1,000 mln in November from -1,295 mln in October. The next RBNZ meeting is February 13, 2019.
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