Week Ahead – Turkey heads to the polls, US retail sales eyed, China ponders rate cut


Wall Street will remain focused on debt ceiling drama, a plethora of Fed speak, retail earnings, and bank stress. It will be a busy week filled with economic releases, with most of the attention falling the Empire manufacturing survey, a retail sales report that is expected to show a rebound in spending, weekly jobless claims, and existing home sales. 

Debt ceiling talks were delayed and are expected to resume this week. Default risks are going up and that would be catastrophic for the economy. 

Given the weakness that is emerging within in the labor market and disinflation trends, the Fed might be persuaded to keep rates on hold a little longer than most were assuming.  This week contains nine Fed appearances, with the highlights coming from Bostic on Monday, Goolsbee on Tuesday, while Fed Chair Powell participates on a panel with Former Fed Chair Bernanke on Friday.   


There are a lot of economic releases over the next week but I’m not sure any really fall into the tier one category, despite having some potential to do so. HICP is obviously a huge release but revisions are generally marginal at best. It’s unlikely to be a game changer but never say never. Flash GDP data will also be of interest, with growth having basically flatlined over the last year. Could a recession be on the cards? That aside, it’s all about the ECB speak, most notably President Lagarde on Tuesday and Friday.


The Bank of England remains confident that inflation will return to target over the forecast horizon and yet the new staff projections highlighted how challenging it will be. Inflation and growth were both revised significantly higher for this year and labour market figures on Tuesday could help explain why that is. Unemployment is expected to remain at 3.8% and wage growth ex-bonuses at 6.8%. 

Neither are consistent with inflation falling to 2% but at the same time, they aren’t likely to stay there for long. Inflation is expected to start falling sharply in April and interest rates will keep the pressure on. We’ll hear from a variety of BoE policymakers next week including Governor Bailey but I don’t expect to hear anything different from the press conference after the rate decision on Thursday.


GDP data in focus next week alongside an appearance from central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, with traders looking for clues on when the next policy move could happen and in which direction.

South Africa

The calendar is looking a little thin once again next week, with unemployment and retail sales the only releases. The former was 32.7% in Q4 2022 and is expected higher at 33.2% in Q1, while retail sales slipped 0.5% in February but are expected to have bounced back 2.8% in March.


The election this weekend has been talked about for many months and could have big ramifications for Turkish markets. The monetary policy experiment of the last couple of years has arguably been conducted with an eye on this weekend’s election, with President Erdogan hoping that a successful gamble could help extend his two-decade rule. 

The race for the Presidency will require one candidate – Erdogan or Kilicdaroglu – to get more than 50% of the vote or it will go to a run-off on 28 May. Voting on Sunday opens at 8 am local time and polls close at 5 pm. By the time markets open next week, we may know who has won the Presidential election.


PPI data is the only notable event next week but traders will be paying close attention for signs of lower price pressures, with the SNB showing zero tolerance so far for above-target inflation.


The recent spate of disappointing economic data that covers both external and internal demand have increased the expectations of a policy interest rate cut from China’s central bank, the PBoC, to address current sluggishness. The tentative date for the upcoming decision on the one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) rate is set for Monday, 15 May.

Next up, a busy schedule ahead with another set of key data releases; on Tuesday, 16 May, we will have industrial production, retail sales, unemployment rate and year-to-date fixed asset investments for April. Attention will be paid to retail sales as policymakers have flagged concerns about the recent softness in domestic demand. The consensus is for a further pickup in retail sales growth to 20.1% year-on-year from 10.6% in March.

Housing data will be the focus on Wednesday, with a further improvement being forecasted for the deceleration of the House Price Index to -0.2% year-on-year in April from -0.8% in March. If it turns out as forecasted, it will be the 3rd consecutive month of improvement in the China property market.

On the earnings front, a slew of releases from China’s Big Tech; Baidu on Tuesday, 16 May, Tencent Holdings on Wednesday, 17 May, and Alibaba Group on Thursday, 18 May.


The balance of trade deficit for April is forecasted to widen further slightly to US$21.5 billion from US$19.7 billion in March amid a lackluster global demand environment.

On Wednesday, wholesale inflation is expected to decelerate further into a negative growth of -0.2% year-on-year in April from 1.34% printed in March. If it turns out as expected, it will mark the 11th consecutive month of contraction.


A busy week. First up we will have the Westpac consumer confidence data for May on Monday where the consensus is expecting a decline of -1.7% month-on-month due to the surprise interest rate hike from RBA.

On Tuesday, market participants will have a chance to scrutinise the meeting minutes of the recent RBA monetary policy decision for further clues on the reasons behind the surprise rate hike and anticipate the RBA’s thought processes and future actions.

On Thursday, employment data for April will be out and the expectation is a slowdown in hiring with 25K new additions from 53K added in March. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 3.5% in April, close to a 50-year low.

New Zealand

The key data to focus on will be April’s balance of trade release on Friday where the forecast is expecting a surplus of NZ$0.2 billion for April from a deficit of NZ$1.273 billion recorded in March. If it turns out as forecasted, it will be the first monthly surplus since May 2022.


A busy week packed with key inflationary data that may offer clues on the speed of Bank of Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy normalization that is expected to take shape in the second half of 2023.

On Monday, growth in producer prices is forecasted to dip to 6.5% year-on-year in April from 7.2% in March. Next up, Q1 GDP will be released on Wednesday where the consensus is expecting an annualized improvement in growth to 0.7% from 0.1% recorded in the previous quarter.

The balance of trade for April will be out on Thursday where the surplus is forecasted to narrow to JPY 690 billion from JPY 754.5 billion.

The all-important consumer inflation rate for April will be released on Friday, core inflation is forecasted to increase to 3.2% year-on-year from 3.1% in March and the core-core rate (excluding fresh food and energy) is forecasted to accelerate to 3.9% year-on-year from 3.8% in March, close to a 30-year high.


The key data to watch will be April’s non-oil domestic exports release on Wednesday. Consensus is expected further deterioration in growth to -9.7% year-on-year from -8.3% in March. If it turns out as expected, it will be the 7th month of contraction in non-oil domestic exports amid a weak external environment.

Economic Calendar

Saturday, May 13

Economic Data/Events

Results of local polls in India

Fed’s Cook delivers the commencement address at Tuskegee University in Alabama

EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm

Sunday, May 14

Economic Events

Turkish Presidential Election: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election is in doubt

Thailand holds a general election

Monday, May 15

Economic Data/Events

US cross-border investment, New York Fed Empire Manufacturing

Canada existing home sales, housing starts

Colombia GDP

Eurozone industrial production

India trade, wholesale prices

Indonesia trade

Japan PPI

Poland CPI

Saudi Arabia CPI

Thailand GDP

BOC issues financial system survey, based on “expert opinions on the risks to and resilience” of the country’s financial system

Fed’s Bostic delivers welcoming remarks at his bank’s annual financial markets conference

German Chancellor Scholz speaks at the Global Solutions Forum in Berlin

Arab League summit runs through Friday

BOE chief economist Pill speaks about the bank’s monetary policy report  

European Commission releases spring economic forecasts

Tuesday, May 16

Economic Data/Events

US retail sales, industrial production, business inventories 

Canada CPI

China retail sales, industrial production

Eurozone GDP

Germany ZEW survey expectations

Hungary GDP

Italy CPI

Mexico international reserves

South Africa unemployment

UK jobless claims, unemployment

RBA releases minutes of May policy meeting

Fed’s Mester speaks on the economic and policy outlook at an event hosted by the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin

Fed’s Williams discusses the economy and monetary policy at an event hosted by the University of the Virgin Islands

Fed’s Bostic and Goolsbee speak on the economic outlook during Atlanta Fed’s annual financial markets conference  

Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting in Brussels

Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik

Wednesday, May 17

Economic Data/Events

US housing starts

China property prices

Eurozone CPI, new car registrations

France unemployment

Italy trade

Japan industrial production, GDP

Russia GDP

Singapore trade

South Africa retail sales

ECB’s de Guindos delivers the closing speech at the 18th IESE banking industry meeting  

Riksbank’s Floden speaks at a research seminar

Earnings from Target Corp and Cisco Systems Inc

BOE Governor Andrew Bailey delivers a keynote speech at the British Chamber of Commerce annual conference

Thursday, May 18

Economic Data/Events

US initial jobless claims, Conference Board leading index, existing home sales 

Australia unemployment

Chile GDP

Japan trade

Mexico rate decision: Expected to keep the overnight rate steady at 11.25%

Philippines balance of payments, rate decision

Spain trade

BOC news conference on financial system Review, billed as “a detailed analysis of developments in the financial system.”

Northern Ireland holds local elections

Most of Europe observes Ascension Day holiday

Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami

BOE’s chief economist Pill delivers opening remarks at the CCBS Macro-finance workshop 2023

Friday, May 19

Economic Data/Events

Fed Chair Powell and former chair Ben Bernanke to take part in a panel discussion at conference

Canada retail sales

Japan CPI, tertiary index

Malaysia trade

New Zealand trade

G7 leaders meet in Hiroshima

ECB’s Schnabel gives speech at Conference on Financial Stability and Monetary Policy in London

ECB’s President Lagarde and Hernandez participate in a panel at Brazil’s central bank conference on post-pandemic challenges

Fed’s Williams delivers the keynote address at monetary policy research conference in Washington

BOE’s Haskel delivers a speech at the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence Conference

Sovereign Rating Updates

Ireland (S&P)

South Africa (S&P) 

Italy (Moody’s)

Portugal (Moody’s)

Denmark (DBRS)

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Former 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.