Week Ahead: Data & Events - Preview & Highlights - 21 to 25 January 2019 - ADM ISI
Fri, 18 Jan, 17:13 (2 days ago)
The Week Ahead - Preview: 21 to 25 January 2019
- As has been the case for quite some time, the key question is whether a modestly busy run of data along with a busy week for central banks and corporate earnings can dislodge the often feverish grip of politics, be that national or geopolitical, above all anything trade related. China's run of Q4 GDP and monthly activity data top the run of statistics, with the week's scheduled major US data (Durable Goods, New & Existing Home Sales likely to be postponed due to 'shutdown' that will move into its fifth week). Meanwhile Japan looks to Trade & Tokyo CPI, the UK has labour market and budget statistics, Australia Unemployment, with a busy run of surveys (PMIs, ZEW, Ifo inter alia) also slated. The BOJ and ECB policy meetings feature on a busier week for central banks, while the annual Davis World Economic Forum will have rather less in the way of major political leaders (both May and Trump having to stay at home to manage domestic crises), but will kick off with the latest IMF World Economic forecast update. The US corporate earnings season picks up pace with 62 S&P 500 companies reporting, with real economy companies taking over the reins from financials - see daily highlights below. Government bond supply in auction terms features sales of medium dated OATs and a mix of OATeis, German 5-yr and UK 18-yr Gilt, along with the end of month Italy CTZ & BTPei auction on Friday (to be detailed on Monday). However syndicated Eurozone govt bond sales are expected to feature a new Spanish 10-yr (possibly longer-dated), and may also see a new Austria 10-yr, and possibly even a Greek 5-yr. The US will be closed for Martin Luther King Day on Monday.
- China gets the week under way with Q4 GDP seen edging down to 1.5% q/q 6.4% y/y vs. Q3 1.6% q/q 6.5% y/y, though many believe the actual pace to be considerably weaker, and also look for 2019 to see a sharp slowdown. Monthly indicators are projected to show Industrial Production drifting to 5.3% y/y, Retail Sales to hold at a 17-yr low of 8.1% y/y, with Fixed Asset Investment (FAI) edging a little higher to 6.0% y/y, as the drag from very weak Public Sector FAI unwinding, while Private Sector holds around 8.0% y/y. But markets will be rather more interested and sensitive to any further specifics on stimulus measures, and above all progress on trade talks with the USA. In a similar vein, the UK labour data will inevitably be deemed moot relative to Brexit news. But for what it's worth, both Average Weekly Wages measures are seen holding post-GFC highs at 3.3% y/y, with Employment seen picking up to a solid 90K, and an eye still needing to be kept on the higher (but not high) pace seen in the Claimant Count (last 21.9K). Both CBI surveys, Rightmove House Prices and the PSNB are also due. G7 flash PMIs are for the most part seen little changed vs December, though there is expected to be a modest recovery in French PMIs after a steep fall in December - Manufacturing 50.0 vs. 49.7, Services 50.5 vs. 49.0. Elsewhere provisional South Korea Q4 GDP is expected to remain rather sluggish by it standards at 0.6% q/q, but improve in y/y terms to 2.3% from 2.0% mostly due to base effects. It is to be hoped that the expected very "average" 18K rise in Australia Employment will see a recovery in Full-time jobs which 6.4K in November, while across the Tasman Sea New Zealand Q4 CPI is forecast to be flat q/q, which would see the y/y dip to a 1.8%, and per se underline little prospect of an RBNZ rate hike any time soon. Canadian Retail Sales, and consumer price indicators in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa are also due.
- It would be disingenuous to suggest that either the BoJ or ECB meetings are 'much anticipated', or indeed that either will spring any significant surprises. Be that as it may, the BoJ is expected to lower its CPI forecasts, largely a recognition of the downward pressure from falling oil prices, which will by the start of Q2 also see falls in utility prices. As much as the BoJ has emphasized it will look through this, the fact of the matter is the private consumption remains relatively subdued, and certainly nowhere a level that might generate a 'demand pull' higher in prices. As much as there has been rather more 'hand wringing' about the long-term fall-out on the financial sector from low rates and ongoing QQE programme, the BoJ is simply not in a position to walk away from QQE, the more so given that it will warn about headwinds to the growth outlook from trade tensions, and weaker growth in China, some parts of Asia and the Eurozone.
As for the ECB, the council will probably try and find some form of wording that acknowledges the weaker economic data and the headwinds to global growth, while suggesting that these have been in line with its forecasts, thus obviating the immediate need to change its guidance on the balance of risks to its outlook being balanced, and per se come under pressure to adjust policy. However the narrative around this at the press conference will probably suggest that retaining such a balance of risks assessment is at best tenuous. The council does not as yet have to change its rates guidance from the current 'not before H2 2019', though there must be some risks that the doves will try and push back on the trajectory, even if this would normally accompany a fresh set of staff forecasts (due at the next meeting in March). The press conference will doubtless see some questions on the TLTRO expiry later in the year, even if the council does not seem to be that keen in taking any decisions (i.e. offering guidance) on what action it could or may take, There will doubtless be questions on Italy, as well as German banks, and above all on the pressure the ECB is putting for stronger NPL provisioning; inevitably there will also be questions on Brexit. Elsewhere Norges Bank is expected to keep rates unchanged at 0.75%, but remain on course for a further rate 25 bps hike to 1.0% March, with a further move seen in September, though an increasingly uncertain global outlook and weaker oil prices may prompt some fine tuning of its overall rate trajectory. The Bank Of Korea is also expected to hold rates at 1.75%, and a follow-up to the end November 25 bps hike still looks to be a distant prospect, especially if the Q4 GDP proves to be as lacklustre as forecasts assume. In the EM space rates are likely to be kept on hold in Angola, Ghana, Malaysia and Paraguay.