The new trading week started off quietly as Japan has a public holiday and there were no data releases. But there are some important data to look ahead to in the coming week.
The main focus will be on the UK which releases key data on inflation and retail sales. Consumer prices inflation (CPI) has been low and the February figures due on Tuesday could show that it stayed around January’s month’s 0.3 per cent due to a fall in petrol prices. Such low inflation numbers concern the Bank of England which has a mandate to keep inflation around 2 per cent. But even the ‘core’ CPI rate (which excludes energy, food and alcoholic drinks) was only 1.2 per cent last month. This is could signal that monetary policy may need to be loosened and this will diminish any expectations that the BoE will raise rates this year. As a consequence, this would weigh on sterling. UK retail sales are also out during the week. In January, the quantity bought in the retail industry rose 2.3%, according to the Office for National Statistics, so some pay-back is possible in February.
Focus will also be on US durable goods orders data on Thursday. It is expected that orders declined in February, after showing a solid 4.7% rise in January. Another important release includes final fourth quarter GDP data out on Friday. Flash PMI data for March will be closely watched to too to see if they will reveal how healthy the US economy is. Manufacturing PMI data will be published on Tuesday and Thursday for services PMI. They will give the first insight into economic conditions in March and will therefore present the first complete picture for the first quarter as a whole
Eurozone PMI data meanwhile will be out on Tuesday. The data will give clues as to whether growth is reviving after having slowed in February. There are other notable data releases in the euro area, including latest Ifo business climate and GfK consumer confidence data in Germany plus industrial orders and retail sales figures in Italy.
Finally, Japan’s flash manufacturing PMI results will be released on Tuesday, to give further insight into the country’s performance in the first quarter.
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