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Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things To Watch This Week

EconomyMay 27, 2018 05:36AM ET
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© Reuters. Top 5 things to watch this week in financial markets - There's a gusher of economic reports in the coming week, as the calendar rolls to June from May, with the monthly U.S. jobs report in the spotlight.

Besides the employment data, this week's holiday-shortened calendar also features a report on personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation - the Federal Reserve's preferred metric for inflation.

Markets in the U.S. will remain closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

Across the Atlantic, traders will focus on the first estimate of euro zone inflation figures, which are likely to lend support to the European Centrals Bank's decision not to rush stimulus withdrawal.

Meanwhile, in Asia, market participants will be looking ahead to monthly data on China's manufacturing sector, which is likely to confirm that momentum in the world's second largest economy remains strong.

On the central bank front, a monetary policy announcement from the Bank of Canada will be in the agenda, though no change is expected.

The market will also have to navigate other things that worry it in the coming week, such as fresh developments on trade negotiations between the U.S. and China as well as President Donald Trump's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un slated for next month.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. U.S. Jobs Report

The U.S. Labor Department will release the nonfarm payrolls report for May at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) on Friday, and it will be watched more for what it says about wages than hiring.

The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 190,000, after adding 164,000 positions in April, while the unemployment rate is seen at 3.9%, matching the near 18-year low hit in April.

However, most of the focus will likely be on average hourly earnings figures, which are expected to rise 0.3%, following a gain of 0.1% a month earlier.

On an annualized basis, wages are forecast to increase 2.7%, a tad faster than the 2.6% gain in April.

2. U.S. PCE Inflation Data

The Commerce Department will publish data personal income and consumer spending for April, which include the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation data, at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) Thursday.

The consensus forecast is that the report will show that the core PCE price index inched up 0.1% last month, after rising 0.2% a month earlier.

On an annualized basis, core PCE prices are expected to rise 1.8%, compared to a 1.9%-increase in the preceding month.

The Fed uses core PCE as a tool to help determine whether to raise or lower interest rates, with the aim of keeping inflation at a rate of 2% or below.

This week's calendar also features the second estimate of GDP growth for the first quarter on Wednesday, which is expected to confirm the economy grew 2.3% in the first three months of the year.

Data on CB consumer confidence, ADP private sector payrolls, car sales, trade figures, construction spending and the ISM manufacturing PMI will also be on the agenda.

Investors have fully priced in a rate rise at the Fed's next policy meeting on June 12-13, according to's Fed Rate Monitor Tool. However, Wall Street remains divided over how many more time the central bank will raise interest rates after that.

The probability of three more rate hikes by the end of this year, rather than two, decreased significantly after the minutes of the Fed's May meeting released last week were seen as more dovish than markets had expected.

3. Euro Zone Flash Inflation Figures

The euro zone will publish flash inflation figures for May at 0900GMT (5:00AM ET) Thursday.

The consensus forecast is that the report will show consumer prices rose 1.6%, quicker than the 1.2% gain seen in April.

Perhaps more significantly, the core figure, without volatile energy and food prices, is seen inching up to 1.0%, from 0.7% a month earlier.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain will produce their own CPI reports throughout the week.

ECB policymakers have recently been setting up markets for the end of the central bank's massive stimulus program. But some analysts have started to voice doubts that it can tighten policy as desired due to recent softness in economic indicators.

The emergence of a populist euro-skeptic coalition forming in Italy has further weighed on those expectations.

The ECB is due to hold its next policy meeting on June 14.

4. Chinese Manufacturing PMI

The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing is to release data on May manufacturing sector activity at 0100GMT on Thursday, amid expectations for a reading of 51.4, the same as seen in April.

That will be followed by the Caixin manufacturing index, which focuses more on small and mid-sized firms, due at 0145GMT Friday. The survey is expected to tick up by 0.2 points to 51.3 from 51.1.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) is seen as a good indicator of economic conditions and it is even preferred by some analysts to gross domestic product, which might be affected by poor seasonal adjustment and is prone to revisions.

Anything above 50.0 signals expansion, while readings below 50.0 indicate industry contraction.

China's economy grew 6.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, helped by a rebound in the industrial sector, a resilient property market and strong export growth.

5. Bank of Canada Rate Decision

The Bank of Canada is widely expected to hold interest rates steady at 1.25% at the conclusions of this week's meeting, as uncertain trade policy and indebted consumers necessitate caution.

The BoC's policy decision is due at 10:00AM ET (1400GMT) on Wednesday, and financial markets are only placing about 30% odds on an increase.

The central bank has raised rates three times since July 2017, but took no action at its last two meetings, as the economy has gotten off to a mediocre start in 2018 compared with last year's robust growth rate.

Policymakers are also keeping a close eye on how heavily indebted Canadians and the housing market adjust to higher borrowing costs, and how uncertainty over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has restrained business investment.

Canadian GDP figures due on Thursday will also capture some attention.

Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting:

Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things To Watch This Week

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John Avia
John Avia May 27, 2018 10:46AM ET
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I think you guys & gals are doing a great job...Keep up the great job!
Parsa Shirazian
Parsa Shirazian May 27, 2018 10:46AM ET
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