Week Ahead – Economic data dominates


The latest round of economic data (retail sales, CPI, PPI, jobless claims) are all signaling more Fed rate hikes are coming.  Wall Street will pay close attention to the flash PMIs, which could show manufacturing and service sector activity is stabilizing, existing home sales, jobless claims, and personal income & spending data.  The second look at Q4 GDP and core PCE are also expected as is the final sentiment reading from the University of Michigan.

The debate between quarter-point and 50 basis point rate rises by the Fed has returned.  The FOMC minutes will closely be watched, especially after Fed’s Bullard and Mester noted they were thinking about half-point rises.  Fed speak includes appearances by Bostic and Daly on Thursday, while Jefferson, Collins, and Waller speak on Friday.  

Earnings seasons continues with key updates from Alibaba, Baidu, BASF, BHP, Block, Booking, CIBC, Cheniere Energy, Deutsche Telekom, eBay, Engie, Eni, Home Depot, HSBC, Iberdrola, Intuit, Keurig Dr Pepper, Moderna, Munich Re, Nvidia, Rio Tinto, Walmart, and Warner Bros Discovery. 


It’s unlikely to be a game-changing week but there are some very interesting economic data releases that traders will pay close attention to. The one that stands out is the HICP inflation data, although being a revised number we may not get much from it. The PMI surveys could be of greater consequence, being flash readings that will continue to paint a picture of how well the bloc is holding up. 


A quiet week for the UK with the early part bringing PMIs from the services and manufacturing sectors and the latter BoE appearances. The outlook for the UK remains confusing despite all of the optimism and just as we’re seeing setbacks elsewhere, there will likely be plenty here too. Investors appear convinced the end of the tightening cycle is nigh, buoyed by the MPC’s confidence on the path of inflation this year. The PMIs will offer further insight into the state of the economy while the speeches may shed a little more light on what this all means ahead of next month’s meeting.


The monetary policy report may be of interest next week, although rates have now been on hold for the last five months. PPI data is expected to show the deflation trend remains intact, something that may trigger a change in thought on rates should it filter through to the CPI numbers. 

South Africa

Unemployment and PPI data are released next week, the latter of which may catch the eye a little more given the potential implications for CPI inflation and interest rates. We’re still a way off from the next SARB meeting which takes place at the end of March but with inflation now only a little above the 3-6% target range and core well within, the case for further rate hikes is weakening. 

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will deliver the National Budget speech to Parliament. The government has numerous priorities that it must address and finding that balance will be no easy feat. Markets, as ever, will be watching.


There’s no doubt what the main event is next week. The CBRT is expected to resume its easing program with another 1% cut, taking the key rate to 8%. The central bank hasn’t been shy about going further than markets expect before, or particularly concerned about the consequences. So we shouldn’t be surprised if it does so again.


Very little of note on the agenda next week, the most notable possibly being the ZEW survey. A 0.5% rate hike is still expected at the next scheduled meeting on 23 March but with inflation still running uncomfortably above target; the only risk is the SNB won’t wait that long. 


The amount of support that will get pumped into China’s economy might depend on how well their reopening goes.  This week’s main event for China is the decision on loan prime rates.  Given the PBOC kept the key rate steady earlier this month, both the 1-year and 5-year loan prime rates are expected to remain unchanged from a month ago at 3.65% and 4.30% respectively. 

China is still widely expected to ease sometime soon and that should keep the outlook strong for Asia.     


No major economic releases or events are expected. 

Australia & New Zealand

The RBNZ is widely expected to deliver its 10th-straight rate hike, with the majority of analysts expecting a half-point rate rise to 4.75%. The consensus range is anywhere from a quarter-point rate rise to as high as a 75 bp rate increase.  Extreme weather may keep inflation pressures going, so the RBNZ should remain somewhat hawkish. 

New Zealand’s second-tier data releases also include PPI, trade balance, and credit card spending.   

The main economic release for Australia is Q4 wage data that is expected to show pay growth remained, but struggled to keep up with inflation.  The release of Q4 private capital expenditure should show an improvement from -0.6% to +0.9%.  


The focus in Japan will be on two big events.  Kazuo Ueda, the government’s nominee to become the next BOJ  governor, is expected to speak at a confirmation hearing at the lower house of parliament on February 24th. Japan’s inflation report is also expected to show core prices rose to the fastest levels since 1981. 


The January inflation report is expected to be hot as the labor market remains tight and foreign travelers return.  Industrial production is also expected to improve, with the year-over-year reading increasing from -3.1% to -1.9%. 

Economic Calendar

Saturday, Feb. 18

Economic Events

Major leaders attend the 59th Munich Security Conference

Hungary PM Orban gives his annual state-of-the-nation speech

Sunday, Feb. 19

Economic Event

US Secretary of State Blinken’s European trip includes visits to Turkey, Germany, and Greece  

Monday, Feb. 20

Economic Data/Events

US markets closed for President’s Day

China loan prime rates

Eurozone consumer confidence

Finland CPI

Malaysia trade

Philippines balance of payments

Sweden CPI

Taiwan export orders

Thailand GDP

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Poland  

EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels

Sweden’s Riksbank releases minutes from its February monetary policy meeting

BOE’s Woods speaks at the Association of British Insurers annual dinner

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Economic Data/Events

US existing home sales, PMI

Canada retail sales, CPI

Eurozone PMI, new car registrations

Finland unemployment

France PMI

Germany PMI, ZEW survey expectations

Japan PMI

Mexico retail sales, international reserves


Russian President Putin to deliver his first state-of-the-nation address

RBA releases minutes from its February policy meeting

Riksbank’s Floden speaks  

Riksbank’s Ohlsson participates in a roundtable about the current economic situation

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Economic Data/Events

Fed releases minutes from its Jan. 31-Feb. 1 policy meeting

Germany CPI, IFO business climate

Italy CPI

New Zealand trade

Russia industrial production

US MBA mortgage applications

Reserve Bank of New Zealand rate decision: Expected to raise rates by 50bp to 4.75%

ECB Governing Council meets in Lapland, for a non-monetary-policy meeting

BOJ board member Naoki Tamura speaks in Gunma, Japan

Riksbank’s Governor Thedeen speaks about the economy and monetary policy

South African Finance Minister Godongwana presents the national budget

Hong Kong annual budget presentation

Thursday, Feb. 23

Economic Data/Events

US 2nd look at Q4 GDP, initial jobless claims

Eurozone CPI

Singapore CPI

Taiwan industrial production

G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet in India

Turkey interest-rate decision: Expected to cut rates by 100bps to 8.00%

Mexico’s central bank releases minutes from its February policy meeting

Fed’s Bostic speaks at the bank’s 2023 banking outlook conference

BOE’s Mann speaks at the Resolution Foundation on “The Results of Rising Rates: Expectations, Lags and the Transmission of Monetary Policy”

BOE’s Cunliffe delivers a keynote address at a G-20 financial and central bank deputies meeting on “Leveraging National Payment Systems to Enhance Cross-Border Payment Arrangements”

Riksbank’s Floden speaks on the economy and monetary policy

Japan Emperor’s Day holiday

Friday, Feb. 24

Economic Data/Events

US PCE deflator, personal spending, new home sales, University of Michigan consumer sentiment

Germany GDP

Japan CPI

Mexico GDP

Singapore industrial production

One-year mark of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

German Chancellor Scholz leaves for a three-day trip to India

BOE’s  Tenreyro participates in a panel discussion titled, “Back to 2% inflation?”

BOJ governor-nominee Kazuo Ueda appears before Japan’s lower house

Sovereign Rating Updates

Netherlands (Fitch) 

Austria (S&P)

Austria (Moody’s)

Sweden (Moody’s)

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam