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ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS - FRIDAY 1 AUGUST 2014

ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS  FRIDAY 1 AUGUST 2014

 

Friday 1 August 2014

IS WEALE ABOUT TO TURN?

  • Geopolitical developments and Fed rate expectations to continue to buffer markets
  • MPC policy to remain unchanged, but debate becoming more heated
  • Euro area and US data watched for further signs of divergence

The past week has been dominated by a sell-off in global equities, weighed down by rising US rate expectations, weak earnings and ongoing geopolitical tensions. The catalyst for the shift in US rate expectations were the much better than expected US Q2 GDP data, which surged by an annualised rate of 4.0%. Although it has recovered some of its losses after today’s weaker-than-expected US employment report, the S&P 500  has dropped by around 2.2%, the FTSE 100 by 1.4%. In the bond markets, yields have generally risen, with the 10-yr gilt up around 2bp at 2.59%. Sterling meanwhile, has continued to fade amid a resurgent US dollar, with GBP/USD at 1.6840 - a  7-week low.

Over the coming week, developments in Eastern Europe and the Middle East will no doubt continue to hang over the markets. Geopolitics aside,  monetary policy meetings in Europe, and  key services and industrial data will compete for attention. The past week's bounce in US Q2 GDP growth and further fall in euro area inflation has thrown the conflicting fortunes of the two regions into sharp relief. The coming week's services data in the US and across Europe, together with German industrial production, will provide further insight into the relative fortunes of these economies.

But for us, the spotlight will be on Thursday's MPC meeting.  This meeting is especially interesting as the MPC will be revisiting its economic forecasts ahead of the August Inflation Report. Although both Bank Rate and the size of the APF are expected to remain on hold, the noon announcement is likely to belie a more hotly contested debate, which should be revealed when the minutes are published in two weeks' time.

The minutes of recent meetings suggest one or two members have been gearing up to vote for a rise in interest rates. Given the historical tendency of MPC members to change their views at ‘quarterly Inflation Report ‘ meetings, when they have an opportunity to discuss and communicate their views more comprehensively, we believe there is a  is a good chance that Martin Weale, may vote for a rate increase. For most members, however, the prevailing weakness of inflation are likely to stay their hand -  particularly given recent signs of a softening in the housing market and the wider economy.

The ECB also meets. Forward-looking surveys over the past month have been mixed, while CPI inflation slowed to just 0.4% y/y in July. However, having only recently announced additional stimulus, the ECB is highly unlikely to follow up with any further measures. Still, President Draghi’s post-meeting press conference will be pored over for clues on the outlook. The potential economic ramifications of tensions in Eastern Europe  are likely to feature heavily.

Otherwise, the data calendar across Europe is relatively thin. German factory orders (Weds) and industrial production (Thurs) are due. After sharp  falls the previous month, both are expected to rebound in June, albeit by less than the previous month’s drop.  Final services PMIs across the region are also released (Tues). The euro area PMI is expected to be unchanged from its ‘flash’ estimate, at 54.4, well up on  the previous month’s 52.8 reading . Industrial production and the services PMI will be released in the UK. The drop in the July manufacturing PMI adds downside risk to the latter, although, after the sharp drop in May, June industrial production should be firmer.  UK  construction output  and external trade data for June are also due (see back page). 

After this week’s key data, the coming week is quieter in the US, with the July non-manufacturing ISM (Tues) the only first-tier release. This is expected to show growth in the key services sector has continued to pick-up in the early part of Q3. June international trade figures (Weds) will also be watched closely. We forecast a below consensus trade deficit, which will increase the chances of an upward revision to Q2 GDP growth.

 

 

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15:30 US- EIA Crude
19:00 US- FOMC Minutes
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