The Fed and BoE will be deciding on interest rates next week, but no changes are expected. Other important releases include: US factory orders, flash Markit PMIs and existing home sales; UK jobless rate and wage growth, retail sales and inflation; Eurozone consumer confidence and flash Markit PMIs; Japan trade data, inflation and Nikkei Manufacturing PMI; Australia employment figures; the BoJ and RBA meeting minutes; and interest rate decisions from Brazil, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Federal Reserve will probably leave its monetary policy unchanged when it meets next week, with investors focusing on policymakers' latest economic projections for further clues on a possible change to the forward guidance on interest rates. The Fed pledged to be “patient” about further policy firming during its first policy meeting of 2019, after raising rates four times in 2018, due mainly to persistent concerns about the slowdown in global growth, volatility in financial markets and muted inflation pressures. Regarding the economic calendar, the US will publish updated figures for factory orders, flash Markit PMIs, existing home sales, wholesale inventories, NAHB Housing Market Index, Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index and the government's budget statement.
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Other key data for America include: Canada inflation, retail sales and ADP employment change; and Argentina and Chile Q4 GDP growth rates. The central bank of Brazil will decide on interest rates, with markets anticipating no changes.
It will be a busy week in the UK, with investors turning their attention to the third parlimentary vote on Prime Minister May's withdrawal agreement next Wednesday, following two major defeats. MPs have already voted to delay Brexit until June 30th if a revised deal is approved next week or extend negotiations if no deal is reached. Also, the Bank of England will decide on monetary policy, but no changes are expected due to the slowdown in UK's growth and as Brexit worries remain. The country’s inflation figures, alongside unemployment rate, wages data, CBI industrial trends orders and public sector net borrowing will also be in the spotlight.
Elsewhere in Europe, the EU summit on Thursday will be keenly watched as European leaders vote on whether to approve the extension of Article 50 sought by Britain. On the economic data front, important releases include the Eurozone preliminary consumer confidence, flash Markit PMIs, construction output, trade balance and Q4 wage growth; and Germany investor morale and producer inflation. The Norges Bank is likely to hike its key interest rate by 0.25bps when it meets on Thursday, while the Swiss National Bank and Central Bank of Russia are expected to leave their monetary policies unchanged.
The Bank of Japan and Reserve Bank of Australia will be publishing the minutes of their last monetary policy meetings. Other important releases for Japan include: foreign trade data; inflation rate; final estimate of industrial production; and flash Nikkei Manufacturing PMI. Both exports and imports have fallen in February amid weak global demand and US-China trade tensions. On inflation, the core consumer price index is forecast to have risen 0.8 percent, unchanged from January's rate and way below the central bank's target. Meanwhile in Australia, investors will be waiting for employment figures and Q4 house price index. Other highlights for the Asia-Pacific region include: New Zealand Q4 GDP growth and current account; India current account; Malaysia inflation rate; and interest rate decisions from Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.