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ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS - MARKETS WAIT ON FED PATIENCE

ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS  FRIDAY 13 MARCH  2015

Friday 13 March 2015

MARKETS WAIT ON FED PATIENCE

  • FOMC to remove “patient” from statement, signalling a possible June rate hike
  • UK Budget to help frame the economic debate in the run-up to election
  • German ZEW survey to provide further evidence euro area activity is picking up

Markets wait on FOMC signal... The key event of the coming week is likely to be the FOMC meeting (Wed). The Fed seems set to take the next step towards ‘normalizing’ monetary policy. The focus will be on whether it changes its forward guidance, removing the phrase; "it can be patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy". Such a move would be seen as leaving a June rate hike firmly on the table, whereas an unchanged wording would be an indication that rates are likely to remain at current levels until at least September. We expect them to make this change. This does not mean that the Fed will necessarily move in June. Fed Chair Yellen is likely to use her post-meeting press conference to emphasise that any policy change is data dependent, while most FOMC members are unlikely to have made their minds up. The Fed continues to face the dilemma that, while the economy is strengthening, inflation is currently very low and the rise in the dollar may exert further downward pressure. Nevertheless, judging by recent comments, we believe that the majority are minded to look through this weakness and, as such, continue to forecast a June hike. FOMC participants’ forecasts of interest rates (the ‘dot plot’) will also be watched closely for signs of how close this is to market expectations.  

Pre-election UK Budget to provide few surprises... With the UK election fast approaching Wednesday’s Budget speech probably has only minor implications for the economic policy outlook. However, it will help frame the debate about the economy in the run-up to the May poll. The Chancellor should be able to provide an upbeat picture of the economy with decent growth and low inflation. Strong public finance data for January and revisions to previous months mean that public sector borrowing now looks in better shape and may undershoot forecasts. The main emphasis looks likely to continue to be on an aggressive profile of fiscal consolidation for many years after the general election so that any major measures are likely to be fiscally neutral. However, the Chancellor may feel he now has leeway to offer a few giveaways, both in terms of taxes and possibly an easing in the pace of expenditure cutbacks. Of course, there is a high probability that the proposals will not be fully implemented by whoever is government from May.

UK labour market data to hint at need for tighter monetary policy... Also on Wednesday, the latest set of labour market data is forecast to provide further evidence that the UK labour market continues to tighten. We expect to see a fall in the unemployment rate to 5.6% and a rise in overall wage growth to 2.2% in the three months to January. This suggests that the Bank of England will increasingly face a policy dilemma as the year progresses. BoE Governor Mark Carney commented that sterling’s recent appreciation adds to downside risks for inflation. However, the MPC minutes this month may reveal the extent to which sterling’s strength is a concern to members more widely against a background of  medium-term inflation risks from a tightening labour market.  

Further signs of life in Europe... The coming week is a relatively quiet one for euro area data. The German ZEW survey will provide the first indications of the strength of economic sentiment in March and is seen as  a good leading indicator of activity. The expectations component is likely to climb to its highest level since early 2014 due in part to the strength of the equity market. There is also an EU summit this week with both Russia and Greece expected to be on the agenda. Finally, while the Fed considers tightening, other central banks are still focused on easing and the Norges bank is expected to cut rates on Thursday.

 

 

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Amazing Trader EVENT RISK Calendar:


Mon 20 Nov
14:00 EZ- Draghi Speech
15:00 US- Leading Indicators
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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09:00 DE- IFO Survey
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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Mon -- 14:00 GMT EZ- Draghi speaks in Brussels. Looking for any policy hints or bias


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue -- 13:30 GMT US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing Statistic

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue -- 23:30 GMT US- Yellen Speech. Early evening. Looking for anything on policy


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed -- 13:30 GMT US- Weekly Jobless, Durable Goods
  • 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


John M. Bland, MBA
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