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Week Ahead Economic Preview: Week of 26 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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  • US and Eurozone GDP updates
  • FOMC and BoJ meetings
  • Eurozone inflation and sentiment surveys
  • China PMI surveys

The coming week sees central bank policy meetings in the US and Japan alongside some key economic data releases. While GDP updates in the US, Eurozone, South Korea and Taiwan will shed light on first quarter economic growth, US durable goods orders and a host of survey data for will give further insights into global trends at the start of the second quarter following the April flash PMIs. Eurozone inflation data will also be eagerly awaited.

FOMC meets amid improving outlook and fresh GDP numbers

The third FOMC meeting of the year will see the Fed seeking to reassure that inflation will not become a concern. The policy decision comes a day after first quarter GDP is released, which is on course to show a 6.1% annualised gain according to IHS Markit's tracker, with the second quarter tracking at just over 8%. Recent survey data have meanwhile also shown sharply rising price pressures.

At the last meeting the FOMC reiterated its commitment to continue current asset purchases until "substantial further progress" was made toward its inflation and employment goals, but any upside surprises to GDP may heighten the risk of tapering earlier than currently expected. See also our research on "Will consumers spend a chunk of the accumulated excess saving, sparking an inflationary boom?"

Eurozone GDP to signal decline

Over in Europe, the GDP numbers for the first quarter and inflation data will be eagerly awaited. GDP is expected to have fallen by around 0.8%, albeit with France bucking the downturn with modest growth, but recent PMI data have surprised to the upside and strong growth looks likely in the second quarter. The inflation numbers will meanwhile be scoured for clues of whether rising industrial prices are feeding through to core inflation. With the ECB having pledged further support for the eurozone that remains deeply affected by the rise in COVID-19 cases and lockdowns, the combination of rising debt and higher bond yields associated with higher inflation remains a concern (see also Is the eurozone at risk from another sovereign debt crisis?).

Bank of Japan and China PMI

The Bank of Japan also meets amid a K-shaped recovery and an outlook which is clouded by rising COVID-19 infections. The BOJ is reported to be contemplating upping their growth forecast but downgrading the inflation outlook, the latter adding scope to stick with the current monetary policy settings following March's framework review.

Across Asia, the turn of the month ushers in the PMI releases with China's NBS publishing their non-manufacturing and factory surveys on Friday. The Caixin PMIs will be anticipated in the following week.

Contact us

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.

Learn how to access and receive PMI data

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