The economic week ahead

24 July, 2017

Both the ECB and BoJ met expectations as each left policy unchanged last week, though the outlook for ECB remains under the dark cloud of future QE tapering, while the BoJ gave up the ghost on its inflation target near-term. The FOMC is set to follow suit and kick the policy can down the road this week, though the markets will remain highly attuned to any hints over the outlook on inflation, the economy, and the balance sheet unwinding timing/

United States: In the U.S., the FOMC is not likely to make any policy changes at the July 25-26 meeting. The slowing in inflation is likely to keep the Fed on the sidelines. Meanwhile, there has been some speculation the Fed could announce the start of QT (quantitative tightening) this week. The economic calendar resumes with existing home sales (Monday) forecast to rise 0.4% to a 5.64 mln unit pace in June. Various May home price indices are due (Tuesday), including the Case-Shiller and FHFA readings. Consumer confidence is also on tap (Tuesday), but expected to slip to 117.0 for July from 118.9, while the Richmond Fed index is seen steady at 7. The MBA mortgage market indices are due (Wednesday), along with the EIA energy inventory report and new home sales may decrease 2.5% to a 595k pace in June. Durable goods orders are forecast to snap back 2.7% in June vs -0.8% in May (Thursday). Advance Q2 GDP should be boosted to 2.6% from 1.4% in Q1 (Friday), given upside risk on consumption, while Q2 ECI is forecast to rise 0.5% from 0.8% and final Michigan sentiment may be revised up to 93.5 from 93.1 previously. Fedspeak continues to run silent into the FOMC decision midweek before Minneapolis Fed’s dovish dissenter Kashkari breaks the ice with a moderated Q&A Chamber of Commerce event from 13:20 ET (Friday)

Canada: In Canada GDP for May (Friday) is the centerpiece of this week’s calendar. An 0.2% m/m gain is projected for May, which would match the 0.2% increase revealed in April. An as-expected improvement in May GDP would leave real GDP growth on track for a roughly 3% gain following the 3.7% surge in Q1, which would match the BoC estimate for Q2 GDP and hence be supportive of the already widespread projection for a near tear rate hike. Wholesale trade (Monday) is seen improving 0.7% after the 1.0% gain in April. The report typically has little lasting impact on the market, but will be the final input into the May GDP projection. May average weekly earnings and the CFIB’s Business Barometer index of small and medium sized business sentiment are both due on Thursday.

Europe: The ECB went into the summer break with a parting shot that once again acknowledged stronger growth while stressing that substantial monetary accommodation remains necessary and that inflation is not where the ECB wants to it see yet. This week brings the first key GDP readings for Q2 and French growth seen steady, while Spanish growth is expected to come in unchanged at 0.8% q/q. A robust second quarter would tie-in with improved confidence indicators, although looking ahead, it may feel as though that is as good as it gets for now, with July confidence indicators expected to fall back slightly. A decline in the manufacturing PMI to 57.2 expected and a marginally better service reading of 55.4 which would leave the July composite PMI unchanged at 56.2. Risks are to the downside though, considering the second consecutive dip in German ZEW investor confidence and as the euphoria over Macron’s election victory fades and political risks ease. July Eurozone Economic Confidence is expected to have eased to 110.9 from 111.1 in June.

Inflation, meanwhile, remains far below the ECB’s definition of price stability and July preliminary HICP readings from Germany, France and Spain are likely to indicate that this won’t change soon. Growth forecasts may have been revised up, but inflation forecasts are being scaled back with the latest surge in the EUR doing nothing to change the picture that a strong currency and weaker than projected oil prices will keep headline inflation subdued.

UK: The calendar this week features the first release of Q2 GDP (Wednesday), which it is expected to rise 0.3% q/q and by 1.7% y/y, which would follow respective Q1 figures of 0.2% and 2.0%. The quarterly pace of growth likely remained relatively lackluster in Q1 compared to growth in the Eurozone and the U.S., and the same picture looks likely to be painted again this quarter. Weakness in sterling following the Brexit vote last June has fed a secular rise in UK inflation, which in turn has eroded household incomes and consumer spending, which in recent years of government austerity has been the main driver of the economy. Other data releases include the CBI’s July surveys, with the industrial trends report (Tuesday) seen ebbing to 11 in the headline total orders reading after 16 in the prior month, while the distributive trades report (Thursday) is expected to fall to a reading of 10 in the headline realized sales figure after 12 in June.

Japan: Japan’s docket gets under way on Wednesday, with June services PPI due. Prices expected at 0.5% y/y versus the previous 0.7% outcome. The remainder of the calendar comes on Friday, starting with CPI data. June national prices are seen slowing to 0.3% y/y from 0.4% overall, and up 0.3% y/y from 0.4% on a core basis. June unemployment is seen falling a tenth to 3.0%, while the job offers/seekers ratio is expected at 1.50 from 1.49. June personal income and PCE are due, with the latter forecast to have risen 0.5% y/y from -0.1% previously. June retail sales are penciled in at a 0.5% y/y rate from -0.6% for larger retailers, and up 3.0% y/y from 2.1% overall

Australia: In Australia, the Q2 CPI (Wednesday) takes center stage given the global focus on inflation. The latter was discussed at the July 4 policy meeting. Trade prices (Thursday) are seen rising 1.0% in Q2 (q/q, sa) for imports and falling 6.0% for exports. The Q2 PPI is due Friday. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Lowe speaks on the Labor Market and Monetary Policy (Wednesday) form Sydney.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s calendar has June trade (Wednesday), expected to reveal a NZ$150 mln surplus following the NZ$103 mln surplus in May.

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