Monday, July 31, 2017

Global Economy Week Ahead: Eurozone GDP And Inflation, U.S. Jobs

The Bank of England will release a policy statement and inflation report Thursday.


The Wall Street Journal
July 31, 2017

This week, the eurozone will see inflation and gross domestic product figures, while the U.S. will learn more about the state of consumer spending and inflation in the June personal-income report. The week culminates with the July U.S. jobs report Friday.

MONDAY: The eurozone’s annual rate of inflation has remained well below the European Central Bank’s target, even as unemployment has fallen sharply since the central bank launched stimulus programs. Figures to be released by the European Union’s statistics agency are expected to show that, while the number of people without work fell again in June, consumer prices rose in the 12 months to July at the same 1.3% pace as in June, which was the lowest in 2017.

TUESDAY: The eurozone has been one of the positive surprises for the global economy this year, having outpaced the U.S. in the three months through March. Eurostat’s preliminary estimate of gross domestic product in the second quarter is expected to show that growth continued at that stronger pace or possibly a little faster.

The U.S. Commerce Department releases the June personal-income report. The release includes figures on consumer spending, as well as the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the price index for personal-consumption expenditures. The 12-month figure is expected to remain weak, restrained by recent price declines for items like wireless telephone services. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect consumer spending inched up 0.1% in June from the previous month and core PCE prices nudged up 0.1%.

THURSDAY:
The Bank of England announces its latest policy decision, with no change expected despite signs that a number of the Monetary Policy Committee’s members would like to see the key rate raised from a record low of 0.25%. But with inflation easing in June, and growth still modest in the second quarter, a majority are likely to oppose a rate increase. The BOE also will publish new forecasts for growth and inflation, which will give some guidance as to the future direction of policy.

FRIDAY:
The U.S. Labor Department releases the July employment report, after the prior month’s report showed employers churning out jobs without generating robust wage growth. U.S. employers added a seasonally adjusted 222,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4% as more people joined the labor force. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast the economy added 180,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%.

The U.S. Commerce Department releases the June international trade report. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in May on a swift rise in exports, and Friday’s gross domestic product report showed trade providing a boost to the economy in the second quarter, suggesting any headwinds from a strong U.S. dollar might be subsiding. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the trade deficit was $44.4 billion in June.


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