Week Ahead – RBA rate decision, Fed speak and BoE monetary policy hearing


The month started with a bang with the US jobs report but the following week is looking a little more subdued, starting with the bank holiday on Monday. Economic data is largely made up of revisions and tier-three releases. The exceptions being the ISM services PMI on Wednesday and jobless claims on Thursday. That said, revised productivity and unit labor costs on Thursday will also attract attention given the Fed’s obsession with input cost, wages in particular.

We’ll also hear from a variety of Fed policymakers including Susan Collins on Wednesday (Beige Book also released), Patrick Harker, John Williams, and Raphael Bostic on Thursday, and Bostic again on Friday. 


Next week is littered with tier-three events despite the large number of releases in that time. Final inflation, GDP and PMIs, regional retail sales figures and surveys, and trade figures make up the bulk of next week’s reports. Not inconsequential, per se, but not typically big market events unless the PMI and CPI reports bring massive revisions. We will hear from some ECB policymakers earlier in the week which will probably be the highlight, including Christine Lagarde, Fabio Panetta, Philip Lane, and Isabel Schnabel.


Next week offers very little on the data front but the Monetary Policy Report Hearing in front of the Treasury Select Committee on Wednesday is usually one to watch. While the committee’s views are typically quite polished by that point, the questioning is intense and can provide a more in-depth understanding of where the MPC stands on interest rates. 


Inflation in Russia is on the rise again and is expected to hit 5.1% on an annual basis in August, up from 4.3% in July. That is why the CBR has started raising rates aggressively again – raised to 12% from 8.5% on 15 August. Even so, the ruble is not performing well and isn’t too far from the August highs just before the superhike. We’ll hear from Deputy Governor Zabotkin on Tuesday, a few days before the CPI release.

South Africa

Further signs of disinflation in the PPI figures on Thursday will have been welcomed by the SARB but they won’t yet be declaring the job done despite the substantial progress to date. The focus next week will be on GDP figures on Tuesday, with 0.2% quarterly growth expected, and 1.3% annual. The whole economy PMI will be released earlier the same day.


CPI inflation figures will be eyed next week, with annual price growth seen hitting 55.9%, up from 47.8% in July. The CBRT is all too aware of the risks, hence the surprisingly large rate hike – from 17.5% to 25% – last month. The currency rebounded strongly after the decision but it has been drifting lower since, falling back near the pre-meeting levels. There’s more work to be done.


Another relatively quiet week for the Swiss, with GDP on Monday – seen posting a modest 0.1% quarterly growth – and unemployment on Thursday, which is expected to remain unchanged. Neither is likely to sway the SNB when it comes to its next meeting on 21 September, with markets now favoring no change and a 30% chance of a 25 basis point hike.


Two key data to focus on for the coming week; the non-government compiled Caixin Services PMI for August out on Tuesday which is expected at 54, almost unchanged from July’s reading of 54.1. If it turns out as expected, it will mark the eighth consecutive month of expansion in China’s services sector which indicates resilience despite the recent spate of deflationary pressures and contagion risk from the fallout of major indebted property developers that failed to make timely coupon payments on their respective bonds obligations.

Next up will be the balance of trade data for August on Thursday with export growth anticipated to decline at a slower pace of 10% y/y from -14.5% y/y recorded in July. Imports are expected to contract further by 11% y/y from -12.4% y/y in July.

Interestingly, several key leading economic data announced last week have indicated the recent doldrums in China will start to stabilize and potentially turn a corner. The NBS manufacturing PMI for August came in better than expected at 49.7 (consensus 49.4), and above July’s reading of 49.3 which makes it three consecutive months of improvement, albeit still in contraction.  

In addition, two sub-components of August’s NBS manufacturing PMI; new orders and production are now in expansionary mode with both rising to hit their highest level since March 2023 at 50.2 and 51.9 respectively. Also, the Caixin manufacturing PMI for August has painted a more vibrant picture with a move back into expansion at 51 from 49.2 in July, and above the consensus of 49.3; its strongest pace of growth since February 2023.

Hence, it seems that the current piecemeal fiscal stimulus measures have started to trickle down positively into China’s economy.


The services PMI for August will be released on Tuesday where the consensus is expecting a slight dip in expansion to 61 from 62.3 in July, its highest growth in over 13 years. Capping off the week will be August’s bank loan growth out on Friday.


The all-important RBA monetary policy decision will be released on Tuesday. A third consecutive month of no change in the policy cash rate is expected, at 4.1%, as the recently released monthly CPI indicator has slowed to 4.9% y/y from 5.4% y/y, its slowest pace of increase since February 2022 and below consensus of 5.2% y/y.

Interestingly, the ASX 30-day interbank cash rate futures on the September 2023 contract have indicated a 14% chance of a 25-basis point cut on the cash rate to 3.85% for this coming Tuesday’s RBA meeting based on data as of 31 August 2023. That’s a slight increase in odds from a 12% chance of a 25-bps rate cut inferred a week ago.

On Wednesday, Q2 GDP growth will be out where consensus is expecting it to come in at 1.7% y/y, a growth slowdown from 2.3% y/y recorded in Q1.

To wrap up the week, the balance of trade for July will be out on Thursday where the consensus is expecting the trade surplus to narrow to A$10.5 billion from a three-month high of A$11.32 billion recorded in June. 

New Zealand

Two data to watch, Q2 terms of trade on Monday and the global dairy trade price index on Tuesday.


A quiet week ahead with the preliminary leading economic index out on Thursday and the finalized Q2 GDP to be released on Friday. The preliminary figure indicated growth of 6% on an annualized basis that surpassed Q1’s GDP of 3.7% and consensus expectations of 3.1%; its steepest pace of increase since Q4 2020 and a third consecutive quarter of annualized economic expansion.


Retail sales for July will be out on Tuesday with another month of lackluster growth expected at 0.9% y/y from 1.1% y/y in June; its softest growth since July 2021 as the Singapore economy grappled with a weak external environment. On a monthly basis, a slower pace of contraction is expected for July at -0.1% m/m versus -0.8% m/m in June.

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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