Week Ahead

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, volatility is set to stay with energy markets remaining in chaos and many companies taking a hit due to their exposure to Russia. Also, investors will be looking for European Central Bank monetary policy decision and macroeconomic projections. On the macro front, the spotlight will be taken by inflation and foreign trade data for China and the US, and January GDP figures for the UK.

In the US, CPI data will take the spotlight, with inflation seen rising to 7.9% which would be the highest reading since January of 1982 while core inflation is expected to accelerate to 6.4%, also the highest in 40 years. Other important data to follow include the preliminary reading for Michigan consumer sentiment; exports and imports; JOLTS data; NFIB business optimism and IBD/TIPP economic optimism. Elsewhere in Americas it would be interesting to follow: Canada trade and unemployment rate; Brazil services PMI, industrial production, producer and consumer inflation; and Mexico inflation.

In Europe, the European Central Bank will decide on monetary policy and release its latest macroeconomic projections, with markets anticipating no changes in borrowing costs as the outlook of the bloc’s economy deteriorated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Still, investors will be looking for hints on the likelihood of a rate hike this year as inflation is already running at record highs and is seen accelerating on the back of higher energy prices.

In the United Kingdom, investors will turn their attention to monthly GDP figures, alongside industrial production, construction output and trade balance. Britain’s economy may have stalled in January after contracting for the first time in five months in December due to Omicron restrictions.

Also, the National Bank of Poland is expected to raise rates for the 6th straight month by 50bps aiming to ease inflationary pressures. In addition, updated figures for the Eurozone’s Q4 GDP will be available and Germany and Spain will publish February’s final inflation rate while several European countries including Russia will release preliminary readings. Other key publications are: Germany industrial production, factory orders and retail sales; Switzerland jobless rate; and Turkey unemployment and industrial data.

In China, National People’s Congress begun on Saturday with lawmakers set to release the country’s latest economic goals and fiscal spending plans during the week. Also, consumer prices are expected to rise just 0.8% year-on-year in February, marginally lower than January month’s 0.9% gain. Also, exports are expected to jump 15%, slightly less than projected 16.5% increase in imports.

Other important releases in Asia include Japan’s Q4 GDP final figures, Malaysia’s January unemployment rate, India’s January industrial production, and New Zealand’s February Business PMI press release. Meanwhile, South Korean voters head to the ballots on March 9th to elect the country’s new President, as polls showed technical ties between the ruling Democratic Party and the opposition People’s Power Party candidates.

In Australia, business and consumer sentiment figures are expected to reflect the reopening of state borders and further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.