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Week Ahead Global Economic Preview - Week of 18 March 2019

18 March 2019 Bernard Aw Chris Williamson Rajiv Biswas

Global overview

  • US FOMC and BoE meetings
  • Flash PMIs for US, Japan, Euro-area and Australia
  • UK Brexit deal set for third parliamentary vote

A week in which the US Fed and the Bank of England meet to set monetary policy also sees the release of flash PMIs for the US, Eurozone, Japan and Australia - as well as the potential for further Brexit drama.

Although no changes are expected at upcoming monetary policy gatherings, the Fed and Bank of England have both switched to a more dovish stance after tightening last year, and the press conferences from the meetings will be scoured for indications of any further shift in tone.

The renewed caution largely reflects concerns about slowing global growth, meaning the flash PMI survey updates will be especially closely watched for clues as to whether the global economy continued to lose momentum in March, and hence whether central banks will grow more concerned about downside risks. February PMI data showed that the pace of global economic growth remained among the weakest since 2016, led by a near-stalling of manufacturing output and falling trade flows. Inflation indicators also continued to cool.

With the Reserve Bank of Australia having highlighted the risk that the next policy move could be a rate cut, and the Bank of Japan having likewise changed tack from hawkish rhetoric last year, PMIs will add context to upcoming policy meetings.

The ECB has of course already gone one step further and announced further measures to stimulate the flagging eurozone economy. Importantly, the PMI will help identify the extent to which the recent slowdown has been due to temporary one-off factors.

Sympathy meanwhile goes out to Bank of England policymakers, who face a particular uncertain outlook for the UK amid on-going Brexit discussions. The week is set to see a third attempt by the Prime Minister to seal parliamentary agreement on her Brexit deal. Failure to do so puts a question mark over Teresa May's leadership and, some speculate, could even spark a snap general election.

Download the report for a full diary of key economic releases and regional week ahead articles for the US, Europe and Asia Pacific

Contact for further APAC commentary: Rajiv Biswas or Bernard Aw

Contact for European and US PMI commentary: Chris Williamson

© 2019, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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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.

Learn how to access and receive PMI data


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