HomeContributorsFundamental AnalysisWeek Ahead – ECB Playing Catch-Up

Week Ahead – ECB Playing Catch-Up


The labor market is still strong but is showing signs it is ready to soften as wages cool.  Wall Street will pay close attention to the February inflation report.  Disinflation trends are struggling here and a hot report could not only lock the Fed into boosting their hiking pace but possibly lead markets into expecting a higher peak rate.  Headline inflation is expected to slow from 6.4% to 6.0%.  The monthly inflation rate is expected to edge lower from 0.5% to 0.4%, while the core reading is expected to hold steady at the 0.4% pace.

While the inflation report will get the majority of the attention, traders should also pay close attention to the February retail sales data which should show consumer spending is weakening.  Housing data is expected to remain weak, while a couple of Fed regional surveys (Empire/Philly) should show manufacturing data remains deeply in contraction territory. Friday’s release of consumer sentiment is expected to hold steady, while many traders will pay close attention to see if inflation expectations continue to retreat.

With the Fed’s blackout period quickly approaching, only Bowman will make an appearance on Tuesday at the Community Bankers Event in Hawaii.


The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday but it’s what comes next that investors will be most interested in. This makes the new economic projections that are released alongside the decision, and the press conference, arguably the most important things to watch out for.


Labor market figures on Tuesday are the standout release next week but it’s the spring budget a day later that people may be most interested in. The fact that the UK is not already in recession will come as a big surprise to many and one of the benefits of that may be a little extra fiscal headroom for the Chancellor. Unfortunately, giveaways may be few and far between for a number of reasons that may make holding off more appealing to the government.


The CBR is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at 7.5% on Friday. Inflation has been declining but remains far above target which may encourage the central bank to stay on hold for now.

South Africa

It’s a little light on economic data next week with manufacturing production and retail sales the only notable indicators on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.


No major data or events next week.


It’s a little quiet next week but the focus will remain on what the SNB will do on 23 March, especially after the inflation overshoot in February. Markets are still pricing in 50 basis points with a small chance of 75.


The National People’s Congress (NPC) has made a more conservative forecast of 5.0% GDP growth in 2023. Recent economic data has shown a strong recovery in the economy, confirming expectations for an early recovery but softening expectations for fiscal and monetary stimulus. The lifting of the zero-Covid policy has led to a surge in business activity, reduced operational interruptions, and robust data on commercial activities.

Powell’s testimony this past week lifted the US dollar against the Chinese yuan pushing the pair close to the psychological level of 7.0000 which may attract attention once more.

Focus next week will remain on the data including retail sales, industrial production, fixed asset investment, and unemployment.


Markets are pricing in one more rate hike in the tightening cycle at the next meeting on 6 April but next week’s inflation data could change that. Recent trends around the world have seen more rate hikes being priced in and India is no exception after the inflation jump in January. If it doesn’t prove to be an anomaly, further hikes could be priced in.

Australia & New Zealand

Next week offers the Australian unemployment rate, employment change, and change in full-time employment on Thursday. From New Zealand, we’ll get fourth-quarter GDP data on Wednesday and we’ll also hear from Assistant Governor, Karen Silk on Sunday


There isn’t much on the agenda next week, with the minutes of the Bank of Japan’s January monetary policy meeting on Wednesday arguably the highlight. Minutes are often viewed as being outdated but nowhere is this more true than in Japan, where those of the January meeting are released after the March meeting has taken place. For that reason, it would take something extraordinary for them to have a big impact on the markets.

Kazuo Ueda, the new governor of the BoJ who will take office in April, recently stated that it is not a good time to abandon the current policy considering the current economic environment. He supports its continued commitment to massive quantitative easing and is not expected to significantly adjust the yield curve control, which has limited the attractiveness of the yen.


Unemployment data on Monday is the only economic release this upcoming week.

Economic Calendar

Sunday, March 12

Economic Events

  • New Zealand Food Prices
  • Japan BSI Manufacturing Index

Monday, March 13

Economic Data/Events

  • India CPI
  • Mexico Industrial Production
  • New Zealand REINZ House Sales
  • Australia Westpac Consumer Conf, NAB Business Confidence
  • BOE’s Dhingra speaks

Tuesday, March 14

Economic Data/Events

  • Fed’s Bowman Speaks at Community Bankers Event in Hawaii
  • UK Claimant Count Rate, Jobless Claim Change, ILO Unemployment Rate
  • Swiss Producer and Import Prices
  • Italy Industrial Production
  • India Wholesale Prices
  • South Africa Mining Data
  • BoJ Minutes of January Meeting
  • BoJ Outright Bond Purchases
  • Riksbank in hearing on the annual report, monetary policy

Wednesday, March 15

Economic Data/Events

  • US Empire Manufacturing, Retail Sales, PPI, NAHB Housing Market Index, MBA Mortgage Applications, Business Inventories, Net Long-term TIC flows
  • China PBOC 1-year MLF Rate, Industrial Production, Retail Sales, Fixed assets, Nw Home Prices
  • UK Chancellor Hunt delivers annual budget
  • EIA Crude Oil Inventories
  • Sweden CPI
  • France CPI
  • Poland CPI
  • Italy Unemployment Rate, General Government Debt
  • South Africa Retail Sales
  • India Trade Data
  • New Zealand GDP
  • Australia Employment Change

Thursday, March 16

Economic Data/Events

  • US Initial Jobless Claims, Philly Fed Business Outlook, Import and Export Prices, Housing Starts, Building Permits
  • Canada Wholesale Trade Sales
  • ECB Rate Decision: Expected to raise Main Refinancing Rate by 50bps to 3.50% 
  • ECB President Lagarde holds a post-rate decision press conference
  • BOE releases Ipsos inflation survey
  • Japan Industrial Production
  • Sweden Prospera’s Inflation Expectations Survey
  • Czech Current Account
  • Poland Current Account
  • Swiss SECO March Forecasts
  • New Zealand Q4 GDP
  • Riksbank Business Survey, Floden speaks
  • UK OBR briefs on budget
  • Japan Trade Balance
  • Australia Employment Change
  • Singapore Non-Oil Domestic Exports

Friday, March 17

Economic Data/Events

  • US Industrial Production, Leading Index, University of Michigan Sentiment,
  • Canada Industrial Product Price
  • Eurozone CPI, OECD Publishes Interim Economic Outlook
  • Sweden Unemployment Rate
  • Baker Hughes Rig Count
  • Russia central bank (CBR) rate decision: Expected to keep rates steady at 7.50%

Sovereign Rating Updates

  • Turkey(Fitch)
  • Belgium (S&P)
  • Spain (S&P)
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