Week Ahead

It will be a busy week in the US, with a focus on the February jobs report, JOLTs job openings, foreign trade figures, and speeches by several Fed officials. Elsewhere, key data releases will cover China’s inflation and trade data and GDP updates from the UK, Eurozone, South Korea, and Japan. Central banks in Canada, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia will be deciding on monetary policy.

The upcoming week will be full of news for investors to digest, including the Labor Department’s February jobs report and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before Congress. The world’s largest economy likely added 200,000 jobs last month, below the 517,000 jobs added in January, with unemployment holding to an over-50-year low of 3.4%. The average hourly earnings growth probably accelerated to 4.8%, compounding concerns over the ongoing inflationary pressure. The Labor Department will also release January data on job openings, while the ADP employment survey is expected to show a private payroll growth of 185,000 jobs during February. At the same time, market participants will closely monitor the Commerce Department trade balance report. Aside from the US economic calendar, investors will be watching Fed speeches, particularly that of Chair Jerome Powell, for further insights into the central bank’s tightening plan.

Elsewhere in America, Canada will publish the latest jobs numbers, with economists predicting a slight 5.1% unemployment rate increase in February. Additionally, the country will post foreign trade figures and business confidence data. Lastly, the Bank of Canada will decide on interest rates.

In the United Kingdom, the ONS will be updating monthly GDP figures, manufacturing production, construction output, and foreign trade data. Britain’s economy is set to rebound in January after a 0.5% contraction in December, while manufacturing production is set to decline after three consecutive months of growth. Other news to follow is the Halifax house price index and the construction PMI survey.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Eurozone will reveal the final estimate of fourth-quarter GDP and January’s retail sales, and Germany will be publishing final inflation figures for February, industrial output, and retail trade. Both retail sales and industrial output in Europe’s largest economy are seen recovering from steep declines in December. The market will also keep its eyes on France’s balance of trade; Italy’s domestic trade; Switzerland’s inflation and unemployment rate; Turkey’s jobless rate and industrial output; and Russia’s consumer price index. On the monetary policy front, the National Bank of Poland is projected to keep its benchmark reference rate unchanged at 6.75% for the sixth consecutive meeting.

In Australia, the RBA is expected to deliver a sixth consecutive 25bps rate hike, lifting its cash rate to 3.6% and disregarding the slowdown in the Australian GDP in Q4 and cooled inflation in January. Other noteworthy Aussie releases include January’s trade balance.

In China, the annual session of the National People’s Congress is expected to implement a significant government reshuffle, while policymakers will be announcing official growth targets for 2023. On the economic data front, a busy week will be headlined by trade figures for January and February, set to determine the impact of the country’s reopening effort on the initial export growth. China will also unveil consumer and producer price data for February. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan is forecast to leave its ultra-loose monetary policy untouched after the central bank’s Deputy Governor and Governor nominee discarded immediate changes to interest rate levels and the yield curve control policy. Also, India will post industrial production figures for January. Elsewhere, South Korea and the Philippines will share inflation prints for February, while the Central Bank of Malaysia is expected to hold its policy rate steady.