The euro is having an uneventful Wednesday. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.1973, up 0.06% on the day. On the release front, German Final CPI posted a small gain of 0.1%, matching the estimate. German WPI gained 0.3%, above the forecast of 0.1%. Eurozone data met expectations, with Employment Change gaining 0.4% and Industrial Production posting a gain of 0.1%. Inflation will also be the focus in the US, led by PPI, which is expected to improve to 0.3%. On Thursday, the US will release CPI and unemployment reports.
The German economy is the strongest in Europe, but even Germany finds itself grappling with stubbornly low inflation, which has also been a chronic problem in the US, Japan and throughout the Eurozone. German Final CPI, the primary gauge of consumer inflation, slowed to 0.1% in September, down from 0.4% in the August release. On the employment front, there was positive news as Eurozone Employment posted a second straight gain of 0.4%. This reflects stronger employment numbers in the eurozone, as stronger economic conditions have improved the labor market and pushed unemployment rates lower.
The US economy has been performing well in the second quarter. Preliminary GDP came in at a sizzling 3.0%, and the labor market remains close to capacity. Still, the Achilles heel of the economy remains stubbornly low inflation levels. Wage pressure has been limited, despite the fact that many businesses cannot fill job openings. Weak inflation has hampered the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates a third time this year, and the odds of a December hike have dipped to just 31%, as the markets are increasingly doubtful that the Fed will make a move before next year. Will the inflation picture improve? We could see better numbers this week for August inflation – PPI is expected to improve to 0.3% on Tuesday, and the same gain is forecast for CPI on Wednesday. Both estimates are higher than the July readings.