Powell and Lagarde Speeches Offer Clues Amid Data Volatility

At the end of last week commentors analysed every word of US Federal Reserve Chair Powell and European Central Bank President Lagarde Jackson Hole speeches to identify any signs on what they would announce at the respective central bank meetings in September.

In essence, they said nothing new and so the outcome for the next meetings remains mixed. Generally, at this moment markets are pricing in no change.

Part of this expectations is due to the sharp deterioration seen last week in economic data particularly the Purchasing Managers Index and this week we have another full-on calendar of data releases. Current market price action is very data dependent so these releases will be closely watched.

Of note, in the US we have consumer data which will identify if the consumer spending continues its robust trajectory. Over the past three months, US consumer spending has risen over 4%ar. We also have the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation PCE. Whilst at the end of the week we have the important July US employment data with a gain of 125,000 expected, although this month’s figures are expected to be distorted by the entertainment industry strike. Whilst in Europe we have inflation data where a moved lower than the 0.5% monthly average is likely to be seen as a positive and reinforce expectations of the ECB remaining on hold for September rate decisions.
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