All eyes turn to the US jobs report due Friday, which will probably point to an acceleration in the labor market recovery. Elsewhere, UK local elections are being held on Thursday; while the earnings season continues, with Pfizer and General Motors due to report their quarterly results. Worldwide PMI surveys will be in the spotlight, as well as monetary policy action by central banks in the UK, Australia, Thailand, Norway, Brazil, Malaysia and Turkey. Other releases include trade figures for the US and Canada, key factory data for the US, Brazil, France and Germany, and GDP updates for Hong Kong and Indonesia.
The US jobs report will probably suggest the labor market recovery accelerated in April on the back of the gradual re-opening of the economy, helped by the government’s massive $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package and an acceleration in the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations. Markets predict a payroll increase of 978 thousand, which would be the largest rise in eight months; while the unemployment rate is seen falling to 5.7 percent, the lowest level since March 2020. Elsewhere, the ISM PMI surveys for April should point to the strongest manufacturing growth for over 37 years and the steepest pace of expansion in the service sector on record. Other notable publications are foreign trade, factory orders, construction spending, ADP employment change, fourth-quarter productivity, IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism, and the final readings of wholesale inventories and Markit PMIs.
On the corporate front, the first-quarter earnings season continues, with reports to watch including Pfizer, General Motors, PayPal, Uber, and Berkshire Hathaway.
Elsewhere in America, key data to follow include Canada employment figures, trade balance, and Ivey and Markit PMI figures; Mexico business morale, inflation rate and Markit Manufacturing PMI; and Brazil foreign trade, industrial production, retail sales and Markit PMIs. Brazil’s central bank will be deciding on interest rates.
Across the Atlantic, millions of voters in England, Scotland and Wales head to the polls on Thursday, with local councils, devolved governments, police commissioners and mayors all up for election. Investors will be paying special attention to the Scottish parliamentary election results after PM Boris Johnson said in April he would not oppose a second independence referendum if the Scottish National party won a majority. At the same time, the Bank of England will decide on monetary policy, but no changes are expected after policymakers vowed to leave the current stance unchanged until there was evidence that the economy effectively returned to pre-pandemic levels. Other important data to follow include final Markit PMIs and Bank of England’s monetary indicators.
Elsewhere in Europe, investors will keep an eye on the final Markit PMI surveys for the Euro Area, Germany and France while Italy and Spain will publish their preliminary estimates. The Eurozone private sector activity likely expanded at the fastest pace in nine months, despite a slowdown in Germany’s business activity growth. Other data to follow include: Euro Area retail sales and producer prices; Germany and France foreign trade numbers and industrial output; Spain jobless data; and Switzerland and Turkey inflation data. Central banks in Turkey, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic will be deciding on monetary policy.
In China, traders will turn their attention to trade balance and Caixin PMI updates for April, with forecasts pointing to a slight pick up in factory activity growth from March’s 11-month low. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its monetary policy meeting, but no changes are expected. On the economic data front, key data to watch for include Ai Group manufacturing, construction and services indexes, trade balance, building permits, and home loans. Elsewhere, India’s flash estimate of foreign trade and Markit PMIs will be in the spotlight.
Other highlights for the Asia-Pacific region include: New Zealand employment figures; South Korea inflation, current account and Markit manufacturing PMI; Hong Kong and Indonesia first-quarter GDP data; and Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines inflation rates. Policymakers in Thailand and Malaysia are seen holding interest rates at record-low levels.