After last week’s days filled with data, this week is significantly lighter. However, two key events on Thursday will be closely watched.
Monday is starting off a little slow on the data front, with the dollar rising and falling alongside fluctuating U.S. Treasury yields.
Adding to the lack of direction for major currency pairs, the United Kingdom is on bank holiday for May Day Monday.
The biggest events of the day are a series of speeches by Federal Reserve bank presidents. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic has already spoken this morning and Richmond President Thomas Barkin, Dallas President Robert Kaplan and Chicago President Charles Evans are scheduled throughout the rest of the day. They’re expected to echo the FOMC’s message of a gradual path of policy normalization.
Picking up the pace
Things might start to get a little more exciting Tuesday with the release of German industrial production figures for March.
Recent data out of the European Union and Germany have shown a slowdown in growth. The recent German PMI showed some capacity constraints. Industrial production for March is expected to increase 0.8% month over month and 3.0% year over year. We’ll see if the euro is swayed by the data.
On Wednesday, the U.S. producer price index could give some more direction to the dollar. There has been a recent uptick in the PPI with March delivering the third consecutive month of increases. We’ll see if April will follow suit. It’s estimated to come out at 0.3% month over month and 3.1% year over year. The PPI excluding volatile food and energy is expected at 2.4% year over year.
Hitting a stride
By Thursday, we’ll be back to a more active economic calendar with the Bank of England’s interest rate decision and monetary policy statement taking center stage.
After the bank’s March meeting when it held rates steady at 0.5% but the vote was split, the likelihood of a rate hike in May seemed high. But worse-than-expected figures for key economic indicators have caused those chances to diminish. Inflation is above the bank’s 2.0% target, but growth remains close to zero. It’s still up in the air whether the BoE will vote to increase rates to 0.75%.
The pound has reached multi-month lows against the dollar recently on USD strength, poor U.K. data and Brexit uncertainty. Thursday’s event will likely impact GBP one way or another.
Depending on how the pound reacts to the BoE meeting, we could see GBP/USD change directions once the U.S. consumer price index for April is released later in the day.
The inflation data isn’t expected to change much from the previous month with a 0.2% increase expected for CPI excluding food and energy month over month, compare to a 0.2% increase in March. Year over year, we might see a slight dip from March, with estimates for April coming in at 1.9% compared to 2.1% in March.
An extra push
We’ll have a few other key events at the end of the week to make up for the quiet beginning. Initial jobless claims for the U.S. are due Thursday as well as the monthly budget statement.
Canadian employment figures for April are due on Friday, expected to show some growth. We’ll get some insight as to how May is going with the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rounding out the week.