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ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS - WEAK INFLATION PUTS FURTHER PRESSURE ON THE ECB

ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS  FRIDAY 2 MAY 2014

 

WEAK INFLATION PUTS FURTHER PRESSURE ON THE ECB

 

• Odds of an ECB policy response shorten following weak April inflation data

• Policy on hold at the BoE, but policy debate enters more testing phase

• Markets to watch upcoming services surveys for early signs of Q2 growth

 

ECB tops the bill... The ECB Council meeting (Thurs) tops the bill in what otherwise looks likely to be a thin, holiday shortened, week in the UK. Although we suspect the ECB may well hold fire for now, the surprise weakness of the past week's April CPI print for the euro area has further shortened the odds of a policy response - if not at the upcoming meeting then at the meeting in

June when the ECB updates its growth and inflation forecasts.

 

Rise in inflation shows little sign of materialising... Quite what the ECB will make of recent economic developments remains to be seen. While recent activity indicators have generally firmed, especially in Germany, the spectre of deflation remains. Despite a big base effect, euro area inflation rose by an annual rate of just 0.7% in April - the seventh consecutive month it has been below 1%. With the euro testing early March’s 2 1/2 yr high, and oil prices holding below $110, the anticipated rise in euro area inflation shows little sign of materialising.

 

Odds of ECB rate cut shorten... President Draghi's post-meeting press conference will be scrutinised for hints of forthcoming action. We suspect he will drop a strong hint that the ECB is ready to act if the euro appreciates further and/or next month's inflation data disappoint. The most likely actions include a cut in the MRO and deposit rate. Unsterilised SMP purchases or other unconventional measures cannot be ruled out.

 

MPC enters testing time... The MPC also delivers its latest monthly policy verdict on Thursday. The Committee looks set to keep Bank Rate and the size of the APF unchanged for the 23rd consecutive month. But the brevity of the policy announcement is likely to belie what should be a more vigorous policy debate now that unemployment is below 7.0% and the MPC is no longer constrained by its initial forward guidance. The discussion will take place within the context of the BoE’s updated forecasts. It will also be the last meeting before the changes in BoE structure come into effect. These will lead to significant changes in the composition of the Committee.

 

UK rate jitters rising... Amid ongoing signs of recovery, a tightening labour market and rising house prices, the changes on the MPC risk adding to the market’s nervousness over the policy outlook. Since the unemployment rate dropped to 6.9%, the market’s have brought forward the timing of the first rise in Bank Rate from April to February 2015. If, as we expect, the forthcoming services PMI for May (Tues) echoes the strength of the manufacturing PMI, sterling yields are likely to come under further upward pressure (see back page). UK industrial production and external trade figures for March are also released. Following the Q1 GDP release earlier this week, these data will be watched more for the composition of Q1 growth rather than its size.

 

US likely to bounce back in Q2... The US calendar is also thin. The highlights will be ISM nonmanufacturing (Mon) and Fed Yellen’s testimony to the Joint Economic Committee (Weds). Both will be watched closely following the mixed batch of recent data. While Q1 GDP growth virtually ground to a halt, the April ISM manufacturing and strong payrolls point to a robust recovery in Q2. Markets will be looking for further confirmation of an improvement from ISM non-manufacturing (we look for a rise from 53.1 to 54.5). Yellen watched for post FOMC update... With no press conference after the latest FOMC meeting, Yellen’s testimony provides an opportunity for her to give an update on the Fed’s current thinking. Fed Governor Stein’s speech (Weds) will also be watched. Stein has voiced concerns about the risks to financial stability of maintaining an ultra loose monetary policy. Given his impending departure from the Fed, he may feel able to speak more freely about this issue.

 

 

 

 

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Amazing Trader EVENT RISK Calendar:


Tue 21 Nov
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
23:00 US- Yellen Speech
Wed 22 Nov
13:30 US- Weekly Jobless
13:30 US- Durable Goods
15:00 US- final University of Michigan Survey
15:30 US- EIA Crude
19:00 US- FOMC Minutes
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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Mon -- 14:00 GMT EZ- Draghi speaks in Brussels. Looking for any policy hints or bias


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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed -- 15:00 GMT US- final University of Michigan Survey
  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed -- 15:30 GMT US- EIA Crude
  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Wed -- 19:00 GMT US- FOMC Policy Minutes. Key policy release


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