Investing.com - In the week ahead, investors will continue to focus on U.S. economic reports to gauge if the world's largest economy is strong enough to withstand a hike in interest rates later this month, with the spotlight on retail sales and inflation data.
Thursday’s rate announcement from the Bank of England will be in focus, as traders wait to see if the central bank will further increase monetary stimulus in wake of Britain's vote to exit the European Union earlier in the summer.
Investors will also be eyeing a report on German business confidence for fresh signals on the health of the euro zone's biggest economy.
Elsewhere, China is to release what will be closely industrial production data amid ongoing concerns over the health of the world's second biggest economy.
Traders will also be awaiting a monetary policy announcement from the Swiss National Bank.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.
1. U.S. August retail sales report
The Commerce Department will publish data on August retail sales at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT) Thursday. The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.4% last month, after holding flat in July. Core sales are forecast to inch up 0.3%, after falling 0.3% a month earlier.
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.
Besides the retail sales report, this week's calendar also features U.S. data on consumer and producer price inflation, consumer sentiment, industrial production, as well as surveys on manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia and New York regions.
2. Bank of England rate decision
The Bank of England will release its rate decision and minutes of its Monetary Policy Committee meeting at 11:00GMT (7:00AM ET) on Thursday.
Market analysts expect the BoE to stand pat on policy after a slew of robust data in the past week saw fears of a recession in the near term abate.
A Reuters poll of economists published earlier this month predicted that the British central bank will wait until its November meeting before slicing 15 basis points from its benchmark interest rate.
In addition, the U.K. Office for National Statistics will release data on consumer price inflation for August on Tuesday. The monthly jobs report is due on Wednesday, while data on retail sales is expected on Thursday.
The BoE cut interest rates to a record-low 0.25% at its August meeting and launched fresh easing measures in a bid to buffer the economy from a downturn following the Brexit vote.
3. German ZEW business survey
The ZEW Institute will publish its September German business climate index at 09:00GMT (5:00AM ET) on Tuesday, amid expectations for a rebound to 2.5 from August's reading of 0.5. The current conditions index is forecast to inch up to 56.0 from 57.6.
4. China industrial production data
The China National Bureau of Statistics is to release data on August industrial production at 02:00GMT on Tuesday (10:00PM ET Monday). Market analysts expect factory output to rise 6.1% last month, after increasing 6.0% in July.
The Asian nation will release fixed asset investment data and a report on retail sales at the same time.
5. SNB policy assessment
The Swiss National Bank's quarterly policy assessment is due on Thursday at 8:30GMT (4:30AM ET). Most economists expect the central bank’s benchmark interest rate to remain unchanged at -0.75%, despite improving economic developments and mounting criticism of its negative rates.
According to a recent Reuters poll, the SNB will also stick to its commitment to foreign currency interventions in order to reduce demand for the franc.
Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/
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