The event we’ve all been waiting for
Jackson Hole has been heavily discussed since the Fed’s supposed “dovish pivot” last month when it adopted a more data-dependent stance. While policymakers have pushed back against the idea of a pivot, markets have continued to price in a slower path of tightening.
Chair Jerome Powell could use his platform next week to join the chorus of policymakers highlighting the need for ongoing aggressive tightening, continuing the push back against the market narrative. But will he do that? The CPI data for July may allow for a softer approach, although it could be argued to be counterproductive given how high inflation still is and how much work there remains to do.
As ever with these events, it won’t take much to excite investors. Any hint at all that the central bank could be tempted to take its foot off the break, that inflation has peaked and will fall back towards target could be enough to fuel more optimism in the markets. The question is what happens if there is no pivot? Will investors be as open to a hawkish Powell as they will a dovish one?
The main event of the week will be the Jackson Hole Symposium. The annual global central banking conference will feature Fed Chair Powell’s speech which may give some insight into how aggressive the Fed will be with tightening in September. Many traders will remember Powell’s 2021 address which clearly showed him tripling down on his view that inflation was transitory.
Powell will reiterate the message that the economy still has forward momentum and that they are nearing the end of tightening. He may also try to drive the point that after they are done tightening, the Fed will keep rates steady for a while until inflation has clearly returned closer to target.
A wrath of economic data will be released, with the two big ones being the flash PMI readings and the second look at Q2 GDP. Friday will be busy with the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, and personal income data for July that is expected to remain steady while spending slows.
Election season continues with US primary elections in Florida and New York.
Economic data in focus next week, with surveys among the highlights as flash PMIs, GfK and Ifo are released. Europe is likely heading for recession and the surveys will tell us how fearful businesses in the bloc are ahead of what could be a troubling winter on the energy front. On that, energy will be a key focus as it will throughout the winter.
The ECB meeting accounts will also be in focus as traders fully price in a 50 basis point hike next month. Appearances from policymakers will also be closely followed, as ever.
Flash PMIs are the only releases of note next week while any commentary from BoE policymakers will also be closely monitored. Markets are currently pricing a strong chance of a 50 basis point rate hike next month although there is now an outside chance of 75.
Just industrial production data next week as traders weigh up how low rates are going to go. They’ve had little impact on the currency so far which remains more than 20% higher since the invasion.
The SARB is in the midst of an aggressive tightening cycle and inflation data next week may shed some light on how much more is needed. The CPI number is expected to rise from 7.4% to 7.8%, well above its target range of 3-6%, while the core reading is expected to tick higher to 4.5% from 4.4%. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to rise from 34.5% to 35.7%.
When inflation is running close to 80%, a bad policy move from the CBRT would ordinarily have been not raising interest rates, and aggressively at that. Naturally, that wasn’t enough for it even under these extreme economic conditions, so they instead cut rates by 100 basis points to 13% at their August meeting. In doing so, they caught forecasters everywhere off guard, despite none expecting them to do anything sensible in the first place. It takes something special for the CBRT to underperform even the lowest of expectations.
No data or scheduled appearances next week. We can never discount the possibility of a surprise rate hike given the SNB’s history of policy shocks.
On August 15, China’s central bank cut the one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) and reverse repo rates by 10 basis points to 2.75% and 2.00%, respectively. This should lead to a reduction in the 1 and 5-year loan prime rates early next week.
China’s second-quarter GDP recorded positive growth of 0.4%, but the high cost of its zero-Covid policy and real estate bad debt may continue to limit China’s economic growth.
No major data or events next week.
Australia & New Zealand
The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell following the recent release of disappointing Chinese economic data for July. Australia and New Zealand’s largest export market is China, so the weak performance of Chinese economic data may be reflected in the trade data. With inflationary pressures, the RBA may continue its hawkish pace of rate hikes, with the market widely expecting a 50 basis point hike to 2.35% at the September rate meeting, on top of the current rate of 1.85%. The short-term risks are the Fed, the recent fall in commodity prices and the weak Chinese economy. PMIs in focus next week.
On August 17, the RBNZ met market expectations to raise interest rates by 50 basis points to 3.00%, the fourth consecutive rate hike this round. Next up is retail sales on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy divergence continue to support the dollar’s strength against the yen. Events at Jackson Hole could further exacerbate these pressures or perhaps even alleviate them depending on how much the Chairman pushes back against the “dovish pivot” narrative.
BOJ Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda has previously said there is no consideration at all for a rate hike and no plans to extend the upper range of the yield curve control (YCC) of 0.25%.
CPI and manufacturing data are in focus next week.
Saturday, Aug. 20
- Some UK trains are expected to be cancelled amid strikes by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
- Italian politicians attend the annual Rimini meeting
Sunday, Aug. 21
- Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong gives a National Day Rally speech
- German Chancellor Scholz due to speak
- Port workers at Felixstowe in the UK begin an eight-day strike
Monday, Aug. 22
- China loan prime rates
- Taiwan unemployment, export orders
- UK Foreign Secretary Truss and former Chancellor Sunak hold hustings in Birmingham
- German Chancellor Scholz to meet PM Trudeau in Canada
- Austrian Chancellor Nehammer speaks about “The New Europe” at the Alpbach Forum
Tuesday, Aug. 23
- US new home sales, Flash PMIs
- Australia Flash PMIs
- Eurozone Flash PMIs, consumer confidence
- Germany Flash PMIs
- Japan Prelim PMIs, department store sales
- Mexico international reserves
- Singapore CPI
- South Africa unemployment
- Thailand Bloomberg economic survey
- UK Flash PMIs
- Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari speaks at Wharton Minnesota Alumni Club
- ECB’s Panetta speaks at the Annual Congress of the European Economic Association at Bocconi University in Milan
- German Finance Minister Lindner speaks in Switzerland
- US primary elections in Florida and New York
Wednesday, Aug. 24
- US durable goods, MBA mortgage applications, pending home sales
- Japan machine tool orders
- Mexico bi-weekly CPI
- Russia industrial production
- South Africa CPI
- Thailand trade
- EIA crude oil inventory report
- Riksbank Deputy Governor Floden speaks
- French President Emmanuel Macron has his first cabinet meeting after the summer break
- Italian caretaker Prime Minister Mario Draghi attends Rimini meeting
Thursday, Aug. 25
- Kansas City Fed hosts its annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- US GDP, initial jobless claims
- Germany GDP, IFO business climate
- Japan PPI
- Mexico GDP
- New Zealand retail sales
- ECB publishes an account of its July policy meeting
- Bank of Japan board member Nakamura speaks in Fukuoka, Japan
- Bank of Finland’s Valimaki speaks about the European economy and monetary policy
Friday, Aug. 26
- Fed Chair Powell speaks at Jackson Hole
- US consumer income, wholesale inventories, University of Michigan consumer sentiment
- France consumer confidence
- Italy consumer confidence
- Japan Tokyo CPI
- Mexico trade
- New Zealand consumer confidence
- Singapore industrial production
- Thailand forward contracts, foreign reserves, manufacturing index, capacity utilization
- UK energy regulator Ofgem announces new energy price cap for households
Sovereign Rating Updates
- Austria (S&P)
- Denmark (S&P)
- Belgium (Moody’s)
- Portugal (DBRS)