EUR/USD has lost ground on Thursday. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.1252, down 0.41% on the day. It’s a busy day for fundamentals. German manufacturing PMI dropped to 44.5 in March, shy of the estimate of 45.2 points. The all-eurozone manufacturing PMI posted a decline of 47.8, missing the forecast of 48.1 points. Over in the U.S., consumer spending is expected to rebound in March. Retail sales is forecast to improve to 0.9% and core retail sales is projected to climb 0.7%. The Philly Fed manufacturing index is forecast to dip down to 11.2, while unemployment claims is projected to rise to 207 thousand. On Friday, the U.S. releases building permits and the Treasury Department releases the semi-annual currency report.
Services good. Manufacturing bad. There were no surprises from the German and eurozone PMIs for March. The manufacturing sector continues to post declines, as the global trade war has reduced demand for German and eurozone exports, and taken a toll on the auto industry. German manufacturing PMI has slowed for nine successive months, and the worrisome trend shows no signs of changing until the U.S and China hammer out a trade agreement. The services sector, which is more reflective of domestic demand, is in better shape. German services PMI improved to 55.6, while the eurozone indicator showed slight expansion, with a reading of 52.5 points.
Eurozone inflation is steady, but remains well below the ECB target of 2.0 percent. The eurozone annual inflation rate edged lower to 1.4% in March, compared to 1.5% in February. Low inflation means that the ECB is not under pressure to raise interest rates. After last week’s policy meeting, Mario Draghi noted that the economic outlook for the eurozone remains weak. With no interest hikes in sight and a sluggish eurozone economy, the euro will have likely have trouble making headway against the U.S. dollar.