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Friday January 24, 2014 - 18:18:50 GMT
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FOMC set to taper by further $10bn, Q4 GDP growth expected up by solid 3.4%

UK GDP growth forecast up 0.8% - perhaps not the stellar rate markets thought

Spanish Q4 GDP to show ongoing recovery, but euro area jobless still a concern

Recoveries become more established ... The UFOMC announcement will be the highlight of the coming week, although a further $10bn taper is widely expected. Q4 GDP estimates will otherwise be the focus, with releases from the US, UK and Spain. All look set to post signs of growth that should support market sentiment.


FOMC continues easy taper... The coming week’s FOMC meeting will mark the end of Fed Chairman Bernanke’s eventful eight-year term. His last meeting is likely to continue the cautious pace of tapering started in December. We expect the Fed to reduce its asset purchases by a further $10bn, $5bn from Treasuries and $5bn from mortgage bonds. This is a widely held expectation despite the sharp drop in December’s payrolls growth, which appears partly weather distorted. This meeting will also prepare Bernanke’s successor, Janet Yellen, for her first major address as new Fed Chair, which is likely to be the semiannual testimony to Congress next month. The outlook for Fed policy is complicated by steep declines in the unemployment rate, presently at 6.7%, close to the threshold the Fed first suggested it would begin to consider tighter policy. While there is no suggestion the Fed will tighten any time soon, Yellen’s task will be to gauge the appropriate pace of tapering and eventual rate increase if the labour

market exhibits ongoing signs of tightening. US GDP to post firm close to 2013 ... The key data release for the US is likely to be the first estimate of Q4 GDP. We forecast this at a relatively firm 3.4% annualised rate, driven by buoyant consumer spending, trade and investment. This would be a decent outturn given an expected hefty fall in government spending, in part related to the shutdown. We expect growth in 2014 to be 3.2%, helped by less fiscal tightening. Expansion at this pace seems consistent with the Fed ’s careful withdrawal of stimulus.


UK GDP growth solid, not stel lar ... The UK also publishes first estimates of Q4 GDP. After disappointing monthly releases in manufacturing, construction and services we see downside risks to our 0.8% forecast for Q4 - a view mirrored in the range of market forecasts. But even 0.8% growth would be slower than surveys and the increase in hours worked in the three months to November suggest, the latter pointing to a further fall in productivity. This would likely be softer than markets considered at the close of last year. Nevertheless, solid economic growth and a tightening labour market has convinced some of the case for an earlier tightening in monetary policy.

Governor Carney speaks from Scotland on Wednesday. He is expected to discuss the outlook for Scotland, but his speech looks likely to repeat the ‘no immediate hike, then gradual tightening’ message evident since January’s MPC minutes.


Brighter signs for Euro area? ... January’s strongerthan expected PMIs should be reflected in national confidence indicators in the coming week. We also expect a relatively upbeat Spanish Q4 GDP, due on Thursday, forecasting a 0.3% rise in Q4.

This should underpin GDP expansion in 2014 close to the Euro area average. In fact we expect Spain to expand faster than Germany in Q4, while

French growth may also be lifted in Q4 ahead ofJanuary’s VAT rise. However, France and Italy still look like being the laggards in the Euro area’s drive to reform and recover. Moreover, the French VAT rise is likely to help lift January’s preliminary estimate of euro area inflation back to 1% for the first time since September. But with unemployment also likely to be confirmed at record levels of 12.1% in the coming week, risks of lower inflation will persist until faster growth becomes more established.





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operate under various accounting standards we are not, and should not be considered to be, giving an accounting opinion or advice and you should conduct your own independent enquiries and seek your own professional advice in this respect. Any transaction which you may enter into with us will be on the basis that you have made your own independent evaluations based on your own knowledge and experience and any professional advice which you may have sought in relation to all aspects of the transaction including legal, regulatory, tax or accounting.


All terms contained herein, including pricing, are indicative only and subject to change without notice. This material has been prepared for information purposes only and Lloyds Bank, its directors, officers and employees are not responsible for any consequences arising from any reliance upon such information. If you receive information from us which is inconsistent with other information which you have received from us, you should refer this to your Lloyds Bank Sales representative for clarification.


Lloyds Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc and Bank of Scotland plc. Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration bnumbers 119278 and 169628 respective


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