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Week Ahead Economic Preview

15 December 2017 Bernard Aw

A number of major economies are releasing updated third quarter GDP numbers while markets will keenly watch the Bank of Japan's meeting next week for signals as to future policy moves. US data on personal consumption expenditure, housing and durable goods orders will be scoured for clues on underlying economic and price trends, while the IHS Markit survey of UK household finances will also provide the first insights into consumer wellbeing in December.

Other key data highlights include Taiwan's export orders and China's house price index.

Bank of Japan

Although expectations are for the Bank of Japan to keep its monetary policy unchanged, analysts are focusing on any signs of concerns over the impact of low interest rates on the profitability of banks, which could affect future policy moves. Moreover, the Japanese economy has continued to strengthen, with the recent upward revision to third quarter GDP bringing the official data more into line with encouragingly robust PMI survey data in recent months. Flash Manufacturing PMI data indicated that the robust expansion of the goods-producing sector has been sustained at the end of the year, supported by strong export growth.

US data

A fresh batch of US economic data, including durable goods orders and housing statistics, will provide details on economic activity and price trends in the fourth quarter. Strong data will add fuel to expectations that the Fed will be on course for at least three more rate hikes next year. A fly in the ointment could be the PCE Price Index, which has shown price pressures to have remained subdued.

UK household finances

The release of the UK Household Finance Index next week will provide further evidence as to the extent of how the combination of high inflation and low wage growth has weighed on household finances at the end of the year. UK inflation rose to a near six-year high in November, with expectations that it could rise further before easing later in 2018.

Taiwan export orders

In Taiwan, updated data for export orders will be keenly watched for fresh signs of the health of regional trade in the fourth quarter. The PMI survey's gauge of new export orders, which exhibits a good advance-correlation with official export data, showed the recent expansion in foreign sales accelerating in November, resulting in the largest monthly increase for over three years. Taiwan's central bank is also deciding on monetary policy next week, where the policy rate has been kept at 1.375% since July last year.

Download the full report for a full diary of key economic releases.

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Bernard Aw, Principal Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +65 6922 4226
Bernard.Aw@ihsmarkit.com

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