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Analysts at Nomura offered their outlook for the week ahead.

Key Quotes:

We expect some rebound in housing-related indicators for August and solid readings from early September manufacturing surveys

Empire State survey (Monday): We expect the Empire State survey to moderate to a still-healthy reading of 22.0 in September, down 3.6pp from August. Solid incoming data suggest domestic demand remained strong during Q3. However, we continue to see some downside risk from potential escalation in US trade protectionism, including another series of tariffs on Chinese imports in the near term.  

NAHB housing market index (Tuesday): We expect the NAHB’s housing market index to decline further by 1pp to 66 in September as increased concerns over supply-related constraints outweigh sustained strong demand for housing. The August NAHB report highlighted “growing affordability concerns, stemming from rising construction costs, shortages of skilled labor and a dearth of buildable lots.” As construction costs remain high, with increased concern around tariffs, and interest rates continue to rise, we expect further moderation in homebuilder sentiment while remaining at an elevated level.

Housing starts (Wednesday): We expect housing starts to rebound in August to an annualized pace of 1210k, up 3.6% from July. Both single- and multifamily housing starts were weaker than expected in July with pronounced softness in the West Census region, possibly related to disruptions from wildfires.

We expect a rebound in August, likely driven by volatile multifamily housing starts, based on incoming housing permits data. However, we remain conservative on residential investment as a whole. For building permits, we expect a modest 0.2% m-o-m increase to an annualized pace of 1305k.

Initial jobless claims (Thursday): Low initial jobless claims remain consistent with labor market strength. However, potential business disruptions from Hurricane Florence on the southeast coast could result in temporary spikes in claims in coming weeks.

Philly Fed survey (Thursday): After an unusually large drop in August, we expect the Philly Fed manufacturing index to increase 3.1pp to 15.0 in September, reflecting steady growth in the manufacturing sector. As is the case with the Empire State survey, we see US trade policy as posing some downside risk to the forecast but believe that, for now, strength in aggregate demand will outweigh any trade concerns.

Existing home sales (Thursday): We expect existing home sales to increase 0.4% mo-m to an annualized pace of 5.36mn in August. If realized, the expected gain would be the first increase in existing home sales in five months. Pending home sales have been mixed recently but a sharp drop in existing home sales in the Northeast, which dragged down sales during July, could rebound and help increase total sales during the month.

Euro area | Data preview

Euro area September flash PMIs and UK inflation data will be in focus next week.

UK Consumer prices, Aug (Wednesday): We expect a small fall in inflation from 2.5% to 2.4% in August. This would be the same as the BoE’s estimate, though the MPC had expected inflation to rise to 2.6% in July which would have implied a 0.2pp fall (rather than a 0.1pp fall based on July’s actual outturn). RPI surprised on the downside in July on a narrowing of the RPI-CPI wedge. We assume that a partial reversal of this narrowing in August will raise RPI inflation to 3.3%, from 3.2%.

UK Producer prices, Aug (Wednesday): Input prices look set to rise modestly due to the inflationary effect of a fall in GBP in August (down over 2% vs. USD and 1% vs. EUR) being only partially offset by a decline in commodity prices. The combination of still-elevated output price readings in the surveys and higher petrol prices will, we believe, push headline output prices up by 0.3% during the month (0.2% core).

UK Retail sales, Aug (Thursday): Retail sales volumes grew by almost 1% in July, some of which may have been due to the weather and the football World Cup, and some of which may have been a bounce-back from June’s fall. The CBI retail survey remained strong in August, hence we expect sales to rise again on the official measure also. However, we expect only a modest gain following the sizable rise in June.

UK Budget deficit, Aug (Friday): Over the past few months the public finances have reported a falling deficit, to the tune of £2bn on average per month relative to the same month a year earlier. We expect around a £1bn improvement in August, which would mean a monthly deficit of £3.3bn. Slower economic growth at the start of this year may feed into smaller improvements in the deficit in the coming months, but if the slowdown proves temporary then so too may any softening in government receipts growth.

Euro area PMIs, September flash (Friday): We expect the euro area flash composite PMI for September to increase to 54.8 from 54.5 in August. At the sector level, we expect the regional manufacturing PMI to rise to 55.0 from 54.6 and the services PMI to climb to 54.6 from 54.4. While concerns about the escalation of the global trade disputes still remain, euro area exports have recovered modestly in recent months, with a strong US economy supporting external demand. Our forecast for September’s flash PMI is consistent with euro area GDP growth of around 0.4% q-o-q in Q3 2018, with only modest upside risk.

Japan | Data preview

BOJ monetary policy meeting (Tuesday/Wednesday): We expect the BOJ to leave its monetary policy unchanged. In the Strengthening the Framework for Continuous Powerful Monetary Easing statement released on 31 July, the BOJ introduced forward guidance on policy rates. We think the Policy Board is highly unlikely to conclude that economic activity and prices have changed enough to justify a guidance revision. The statement also says that 10yr JGB “yields may move upward and downward to some extent mainly depending on developments in economic activity and prices,” and BOJ Governor Kuroda said in his post-meeting press conference that an acceptable range for that movement would be about double the previous acceptable range of ±0.1pp. He said at the press conference that the aim of easing the range was improve JGB market function. Since the most recent meeting, 10yr JGB yield movements have not hit the upper limit of the acceptable range. Thus, when Mr. Kuroda holds the regular press conference after this Monetary Policy Meeting, we will be focused on whether he views recent movements as adequate relative to the functioning of the JGB market, and whether the BOJ’s view has changed regarding the effect of yield curve control on financial intermediation, which has been a market concern.  

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