Week Ahead Economic Overview

26 May 2017 Bernard Aw

Worldwide releases of manufacturing PMI surveys will provide important signals as to global growth and inflation trends in the middle of the second quarter growth, thereby giving an early indication of the direction of future central bank policy. Other key data highlights include US nonfarm payrolls and inflation, as well as a number of first quarter GDP releases.

Second quarter economic growth trends are likely to be key to future policy decisions at major central banks, notably the US, which means that the upcoming PMI signals for May will be highly scrutinised.

Flash PMI surveys indicated that growth in US business activity gained slight momentum in May, supporting the view that GDP will rebound in the second quarter. The upturn is being accompanied by solid inflation in prices charged for goods and services, which will add to expectations of the Fed hiking interest rates again in June. Markets are pricing in an 80%-plus probability of a June interest rate rise.

Alongside updated data from IHS Markit's PMI surveys and the ISM, the US sees the release of nonfarm payroll data. April figures surprised on the upside, showing a gain of 211,000, but flash PMI data point to growth in the region of 160,000 in May. PCE price index, personal income and spending, and US trade balance data will also be monitored for indications of US macroeconomic trends.

ECB watchers will meanwhile be eyeing the final manufacturing PMI numbers as well as euro area surveys on business and consumer sentiment. Flash PMI data signalled that eurozone economic growth continued to hold steady at the fastest for six years in May. The pace of expansion signalled by the PMI is historically consistent with the ECB taking a hawkish stance, however a dip in cost pressures added weight to arguments that there's no rush to taper policy, especially given ongoing concerns over Italy's banking woes and Greece's bailout.

Elsewhere, first quarter GDP numbers are out for two of the world's largest emerging markets: Brazil and India. The consensus view is that India economic growth has slowed further from the 7% year-on-year seen in the final quarter of 2016 to 6.9%, its lowest for over a year. More recent PMI data indicated that growth remained fragile at the start of the second quarter.

In Brazil, the release of first quarter GDP is one of a host of important data releases, including updates on unemployment, industrial production and the latest IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI. On top of this, policymakers at the central bank will decide whether or not to further lower the key interest rate from 11.25%.

Download full article

Bernard Aw, Principal Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +65 6922 4226


Filter Sort