Earnings in focus: a necessary revision

17 April, 2018

At 08:30 GMT, UK Average Earnings excluding Bonus (3Mo/Yr) (Feb) is expected to come in at 2.8% from 2.6% previously. Claimant Count Change (Mar) is expected at 5.0K from a previous reading of 9.2K. ILO Unemployment Rate (3M) (Feb) is expected to be unchanged at 4.3%. Average Earnings including Bonus (3Mo/Yr) (Feb) is expected to be 3.0% from 2.8% previously. Claimant Count Rate (Mar) was 2.4% previously. Wage growth is expected to continue to tick up, after stabilizing at 2.5% and moving up last month. This is despite the fact that the unemployment rate is at multi-decade lows when wage growth would normally be higher as competition to attract workers takes hold. The BOE will study wage data to see any indication of a pick up so they know whether to maintain their hawkish tone. GBP crosses could be influenced by this data release.

At 09:00 GMT, German ZEW Survey – Current Situation (Apr) is expected at 88.0 against a prior 90.7. ZEW Survey – Economic Sentiment (Mar) is expected to be -1.0 from 5.1 previously. These data points are expected to soften as the strengthening in the Euro affects business. The deteriorating trade environment is also a headwind for business outlook. This is the first negative forecast in sentiment since Brexit. EUR crosses may be affected by this data.

At 12:30 GMT, US Housing Starts (MoM) (Mar) is expected at 1.262M from a previous number of 1.236M. Building Permits (MoM) (Mar) is expected to come in at 1.323M with the prior reading of 1.298M, which was revised up to 1.321M. This data is expected to show a pick-up in residential construction activity as the weather improves and summer approaches. These data points have been recovering since hitting lows of 0.46M and 0.49M respectively in 2009 after the financial crisis. The readings last month were the highest since those lows. USD crosses may see increased volatility around this data release.

At 13:15 GMT, FOMC Member Williams is due to speak about monetary policy at a global symposium co-hosted by the National Association for Business Economics and the Bank of Spain, in Madrid. Audience questions are expected and comments made could affect USD pairs.

At 13:15 GMT, US Industrial Production (MoM) (Mar) will be released. The consensus is for 0.4% from 0.9% previously, which was revised down from 1.1%. This measure rebounded strongly to reach the highest reading since December 2014, after slipping below the zero line in the previous reading. Capacity Utilization (Mar) will also be released at this time, with an expectation for 77.9% v 77.7% prior, which was revised down from 78.1%. The expectation is for the number to match the two-year high in December. USD crosses may be impacted.

At 14:00 GMT, Fed Member Quarles is due to testify on supervision and regulation before the House Financial Services Committee, in Washington DC. USD crosses may be impacted by any comments made.

At 15:00 GMT, FOMC Member Harker is due to give a scheduled speech. USD pairs may move on the back of statements made.

At 21:40 GMT, FOMC Member Bostic is due to discuss the economic outlook in an interview conducted by Bloomberg at an executive workshop, in Atlanta. USD pairs may be affected by comments made during this interview or during audience question after.

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