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Monday November 29, 2010 - 11:10:24 GMT
Lloyds TSB Financial Markets - www.lloydstsb.com/corporatemarkets

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Data Preview - Trichet under pressure

Data Preview - Monday, 29th November 2010

 

Trichet under pressure

 

This week’s UK economic calendar is fairly light, with market attention likely to be focused on events overseas. Against the backdrop of the ongoing turmoil in the European sovereign debt markets, the European Central Bank (ECB) holds its key policy meeting on Thursday, while in the US the all-important non-farm payroll report is due on Friday. We expect the ECB to keep its main refinancing rate on hold at 1%, where it has been since spring 2009. Market attention, however, is likely to closely scrutinise comments by President Trichet on the ECB’s liquidity framework going forward, with the Governing Council aware of the need to ensure that euro-zone banks do not become ‘addicted’ to ECB liquidity over the medium term.

 

This need notwithstanding, the ECB is unlikely to unwind its generous liquidity-providing facilities any time soon given prevailing tensions in government bond markets. On top of this, it will also publish its latest staff economic projections. In the press conference, questions are likely to be asked about the stability of the single currency area. If market conditions deteriorate further (Spanish 10-year government bond yield spreads over bunds have widened substantially in recent days), the ECB could potentially find itself in a position where it has to undertake un-sterilised government bond purchases within its existing Securities Markets Programme.

 

One ECB Council member (Axel Weber) has also suggested increasing the €440bn European Financial Stability Facility agreed earlier this year (although such a move has been denied recently by the German government). In terms of regular eurozone economic dataflow, this week’s highlights include the latest European Commission business surveys, final November eurozone PMI data and German unemployment figures for November. We look for joblessness in Germany to fall for the seventeenth consecutive month (our forecast stands at -15K).

 

After the Thanksgiving Holiday, it is a busy week for economic data in the US, headed by the November labour market report. After a stronger-than-expected 151K jobs were created in October - the first gain for five months - hopes are high for a similar outturn this month. Anecdotal data, such as the sharp fall in weekly jobless claims, suggest there is a risk of a stronger outturn. We have penciled in a figure of 200K. However, while positive, particularly in relation to confidence and consumer spending, this pace of jobs growth is unlikely to make a swift dent in the unemployment rate. This is a major concern given that the reliance on personal consumption to sustain recovery has been a key feature of recent activity data. The importance of this is likely to be highlighted this week by a modest easing in the November ISM services and manufacturing surveys, although at 54.0 and 55.5, respectively, both remain comfortably in expansionary territory. House price and construction spending data are expected to reflect the recent downturn in the market.

 

In the UK, the main focus this week will be on the November PMIs for a clearer steer on how the economy is faring into the year end. PMIs will be released for the construction, manufacturing and services sectors. With sterling having risen by around 3% in trade-weighted terms over the past month, the pace of restocking starting to slow and the economic outlook still fragile, we expect all three to register a slight softening (but to remain above the 50 level consistent with expansion). The market will also be watching closely the M4 money supply data for signs of whether further QE may be needed. With annual growth in M4 currently running at just 1.0%, weak money creation poses a significant impediment to economic recovery. Net consumer credit, consumer confidence and house price figures are also due.

 

Finally, following last week’s private capital expenditure survey, we have cut our forecast for this week’s Australian GDP data. We now expect Q3 GDP to have risen by 0.8%, down from 1.2% in Q2. Investment in business equipment is expected to subtract from growth this quarter, but the outlook for economic activity remains strong, with investment intentions in the mining industry returning to pre-crisis levels.

 

Economic Research

 

 

Editorial comments to:

Trevor Williams

Chief Economist

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets

Economic Research

10 Gresham Street

London, EC2V 7AE

Tel: +44 (0)20 7158 1748

 

Economic research can be accessed at: http://www.lloydstsbcorporatemarkets.com, Bloomberg: LLOY<GO>

 

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