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Week Ahead Economic Preview: Week of 12 April 2021

The following is an extract from IHS Markit's latest Week Ahead Economic Preview. For the full report, please click on the 'Download Full Report' link.

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  • China and UK GDP updates
  • Industrial production numbers for China, the US, Eurozone and UK
  • US and China retail sales

Updates to economic trends in China, Japan, the US, Eurozone and UK will dominate the week as markets seek insights into growth momentum amid varying vaccine roll-outs and virus infection rates. The week also sees interest rate decisions scheduled at central banks in New Zealand, South Korea and Turkey.

China's annual GDP growth rate is set to surge in the first quarter, given the economic slump seen this time last year as the pandemic struck and the economy locked down. Growth could accelerate from 6.8% in the fourth quarter to around 19%, though the pace of expansion will likely cool in the remaining quarters of the year. China nevertheless continues to show strong economic expansion, due mainly to its success in controlling fresh outbreaks of COVID-19, with our economic forecasting team pencilling-in 7.8% growth for 2021 and a 5.8% expansion in 2022. Japan's machinery orders will also come under scrutiny, notably in the hope that stronger factory output growth is helping to offset service sector malaise.

In the US, industrial production and retail sales data are expected to show the economy sustaining strong growth momentum midway through the first quarter, while the April manufacturing survey data from the New York and Philadelphia Feds, plus University of Michigan consumer sentiment, will give insights into how the economy is faring at the start of the second quarter amid the ongoing vaccine roll-out and fresh fiscal stimulus.

The eurozone's vaccine roll-out has meanwhile been slow, and further waves of the virus threaten to subdue growth in the second quarter. However, one area of success has been its record manufacturing output growth, the upturn in which looks set to be confirmed by official production data across the region. Consumer price data may show signs of rising price pressures, though core inflation is likely to remain subdued.

In the UK, GDP numbers are expected to show the economy struggling during the lockdown, albeit with the PMI surveys hinting at fresh signs of life as domestic demand is lifted by the successful vaccine roll-out. Trade data will be closely watched, however, for clues as to the impact of Brexit on EU trade.

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PMI commentary: Chris Williamson

Europe commentary: Ken Wattret

APAC commentary: Rajiv Biswas

© 2021, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI™) data are compiled by IHS Markit for more than 40 economies worldwide. The monthly data are derived from surveys of senior executives at private sector companies, and are available only via subscription. The PMI dataset features a headline number, which indicates the overall health of an economy, and sub-indices, which provide insights into other key economic drivers such as GDP, inflation, exports, capacity utilization, employment and inventories. The PMI data are used by financial and corporate professionals to better understand where economies and markets are headed, and to uncover opportunities.

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