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Week Ahead Economic Preview: Week of 23 August 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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August flash PMIs will offer updates on economic conditions at the crossroads of improving COVID-19 vaccination rates and the spread of the Delta variant. US economy watchers will also be kept especially busy with a string of official economic data, including US July core PCE figures and the second Q2 GDP estimate, as well as the Fed's Jackson Hole symposium on 26-28 August. Central bank watchers will also be eyeing the monetary policy meeting in South Korea.

Fed watchers' attention turns to the Jackson Hole symposium after the minutes of the FOMC July rattled the markets with policymakers further clearing the path to tapering. The flash PMI and core CPI releases will add further colour to the Fed's taper path. Weak readings could dispel some of the taper concerns, especially if the PMI shows rising virus case numbers via the Delta variant hitting the economy again, but solid readings could add to the unease in the market about a sooner than previously anticipated taper.

In Europe, growth cooled in July according to the PMIs after especially strong second quarters, so the August data will be important in assessing the extent to which these rebounds are being sustained or if rising infection rates are further dampening activity, as well as the extent to which shortages and capacity constraints are driving up prices.

Over in Asia, Japan and Australia's flash PMIs will be assessed for the impact of a sustained spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in August, with both countries continuing to struggle to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

Recapping on the PMI surveys ahead of August flash data

PMI commentary: Chris Williamson, Jingyi Pan

APAC commentary: Rajiv Biswas


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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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