Forex Weekly Outlook May 10-14 – UK GDP, US Retail Sales in focus

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The BoE responded to stronger economic conditions and slowed the pace of its QE programme at its policy meeting.  Employment numbers in Canada and the US nonfarm payrolls were far short of expectations.  Is the US recovery sputtering?  This week’s inflation and retail sales numbers may help provide an answer. 

In the eurozone, manufacturing continues to show strong growth.  German Manufacturing PMI shined with a reading of 66.2 and the eurozone at 62.9 points.

In the UK, PMIs for manufacturing, services and construction all came in above the 60-level, well into expansionary territory. A reading above the 50-level indicates growth.

The Bank of England slowed the pace of QE, from 4.4 billion pounds a week to 3.3 billion, but stressed that this was not a tightening of policy. The bank maintained interest rates at a record low of 0.10%.

Canada’s employment numbers for May were much worse than expected.  The economy shed 207.1 thousand jobs,  compared to the consensus of a loss of 160.5 thousand.  Unemployment jumped to 8.1%, up from 7.5% and above the forecast of 7.8%.

In the US, manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in April, as the ISM Manufacturing PMI dropped to 60.7, down from 64.7. It was a similar story for business activity, as the ISM Services PMI slowed to 62.7, down from 63.7. Both PMIs missed their estimates.

The market was looking for a blowout report from nonfarm payrolls for April, with an estimate of 990 thousand. Some analysts had even predicted a print of two million, but in the end, the economy created just 266 thousand jobs. Unemployment rose to 6.1%, up from 5.8% and above the estimate of 6.0%. There was a silver lining, as wage growth climbed 0.7%, rebounding from -0.1% and above the forecast of 0.0%.

  1. UK GDP: Wednesday, 6:00. The economy grew by 1.0% in Q4, but a downturn is expected in the first quarter, with a consensus of -1.6%.
  2. German CPI: Wednesday, 6:00. The initial estimate for the April report came in at 0.7%, and the final reading is expected to confirm the initial release.
  3. US Inflation Report: Wednesday, 12:30. Inflation in the US has moved higher, but the Fed insists that it is only temporary and has stuck to its dovish monetary policy. Headline inflation rose to 0.6% in March but is expected to slow to 0.2% for April.
  4. ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts: Friday, 11:30. The ECB minutes will provide details of the April policy meeting. The central bank remains in dovish mode, and investors will be looking for any clues as to future monetary policy.
  5. US Retail Sales: Friday, 12:30. Retail sales exploded in March, as the headline reading jumped 9.8%. The consensus for the April headline reading stands at just 0.8%.
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About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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