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Monday October 11, 2010 - 10:53:55 GMT
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Economics Weekly - FOMC minutes to whet markets’ appetite for further QE in the US...

Economics Weekly 11 October 2010

 

FOMC minutes to whet markets’ appetite for further QE in the US...

 

The UK monetary policy debate is particularly interesting at present. We expect the vote from the recent October MPC meeting to have been a three-way split, with Andrew Sentance and Adam Posen (and perhaps one or two others) taking opposing sides in the debate, with the remainder of the MPC still in ‘wait-and-see’ mode. Over the past few days, data may have nudged this latter ‘camp’ towards further asset purchases. In terms of key numbers before next month’s MPC meeting, we look for September CPI to show a modest easing in all three main price gauges – although with CPI expected to fall to 3.0% from 3.1%, it remains some way off the government’s target. In the labour market, we look for the ILO unemployment rate to hold at 7.8%, but will also watch closely the more

timely claimant count measure. If our own Consumer Barometer survey is correct, claimant count could begin to rise in coming months as companies, faced with weak final demand, re-start job cuts.

 

This week’s euro-zone data calendar is dominated by August industrial production data, along with final September CPI figures. Last week’s stronger-than-expected German production data (+1.7% m/ m) set the scene, with foreign appetite for Germany’s exports playing no small part in the euro area’s economic fortunes at the moment. Industrial production data from France and Italy are released this week ahead of the aggregate euro-zone number on Wednesday. For the latter, our forecast stands at +0.9% m/m. Beyond this, the focus is on final September CPI data which we expect to be confirmed at 1.8% for euro area as a whole. Trade data are also scheduled for publication on Friday.

 

This week’s US economic data calendar is busy, with Tuesday’s September FOMC minutes likely to attract particular attention. In its latest policy statement, the Fed noted that it was ‘prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery and to return inflation, over time, to levels consistent with its mandate’. This followed the phrase in August’s FOMC minutes that ‘several members’ felt it appropriate to consider steps to provide additional policy stimulus. The latest minutes will show this body of opinion has now gained significant momentum, with financial markets now primed for a further phase of quantitative easing (possibly as soon as the Fed’s 3 November meeting). In terms of regular economic data, highlights include September CPI, where the continuing high degree of spare capacity in the economy means we look for another subdued annual reading of 0.9% on the “core” measure. Other data releases this week include retail sales, producer prices, trade and Michigan consumer confidence (see accompanying forecast table).

 

With increasing criticism over the appreciation, or lack thereof, of the yuan against the US dollar, particular attention will be paid to China’s trade balance for September. We expect the trade surplus to have narrowed to $18.0bn, from $20.03bn in August. Meanwhile, the central banks for Mexico, South Korea and Turkey are all meeting this week. However, we look for no change in any of the benchmark interest rates.

 

Economic Research team

 

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Economic Research, 10 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7AE, Switchboard: 0207 626 1500. www.lloydstsbcorporatemarkets.com Bloomberg: LLOY<GO>

 

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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue-- 08:30 GMT GB- CPI top tier confirmation of Inflation.

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