Welcome to "The Long & Short of the Week Ahead", a production of Eurizon SLJ Capital that takes a look at the macro-economic themes of the week ahead and has been recorded for professional investors.
My name is Matt Jones, Head of Distribution for Eurizon SLJ Capital, and I'm joined by Neil Staines, Senior Portfolio Manager.
Welcome back Neil, it's great to have you here with us again.
Thank you very much Matt. It's great to be here.
So after a quiet week for data looking into next week, it seems that we're back in action. So what are you going to have your eye on?
Absolutely, yeah, I mean, with relatively little first tier data in the last week, outside of the inconclusive CPI print for April, a topic that we expand further on, in relation to the global economy and this week's blog, markets were largely driven for by sentiment and positioning. Indeed, the FOMC raised rates 50 basis points on the 4th. And we have seen a transition from this point of the market emphasis away from the implications of inflation on the Feds reaction function, and more towards the implications of the Feds reaction function of all high rates on growth. And it's this transition that's really categorized the sentiment in the week. This week, however, we do have some interesting data points as you say, and to fine tune this market sentiment and positioning.
Now firstly, we get the April China data suite - retail sales, industrial production, investment and the unemployment rate. Now, the continued impact of the zero COVID policy in China has had notable impact not only on the domestic growth outlook, but it's also fueled the global supply chain shortages, keeping goods prices elevated, and real incomes subdued. Social financing data at the end of this week was very disappointing, maintaining this negative sentiment towards China, and the importance of China and the global economy and the global supply chain, will keep focused on the data and of course, the COVID situation high.
Secondly, perhaps nowhere is the inflation growth dichotomy, more acute right now than in the UK. The Bank of England meeting on the 5th emphasized the difficult policy decisions ahead, as its forecasts now expect inflation to be about 10% for the full year, some members feeling that the structural change in terms of trade necessitate a higher underlying bank rates, and while others on the MPC place greater emphasis on the real income squeeze on future demand. And we highlighted, prior to the meeting, that we could see a three way split into voting unchanged 25 basis points of 50, in the end, it was 6, 3 in favor of 25, with 3 dissents for 50 basis points. And June is very unlikely to see a consensus, you know it's very difficult for the Bank of England against this current complicated backdrop. This week, we get the inflation print for April, where the energy price cap jump will likely see inflation rise 2.6% on the month, and that's up to 9% already on the year, though, on the ground, it feels a little bit higher. The argument from the doves on the MBC is that inflation is high and driven largely by supply side factors and therefore is self regulating, and that higher rates will be more damaging to demand than inflation. Thus, on the demand side, we see the unemployment report for March this week. And this will also obviously be a key part of the puzzle, and so too will the April retail sales figures expected to fall sharply.
Lastly, the focus shifts back to Japan next week. For decades now, the monetary debate in Japan has been on how best to manage the threat of deflation. The Bank of Japan were the first to try quantitive easing, the first to try zero and then negative rate policy in order to fight this particular threat. And indeed, the insistence of the Bank of Japan to maintain its persistent easing, despite the hawkish pivots, of the global central bank's, ex China that is, has been the key driver of Yen weakness as rate differentials have widened dramatically. So this week, Japanese CPI is expected to hit the Bank of Japan's target at 2%, a feat only attained a handful of times since the early 80s in Japan, and even then, only very briefly. Now while one swallow does not a summer make, outperformance of this data could have significant influence for Bank of Japan policy and for the JDB market and very much so for the Yen. Very early stages in this regard, but fascinating viewing nonetheless.
Thank you, Neil, the fascinating week ahead with data returning in focus. So in the meantime, we have the weekend will be it perhaps a little quieter?
Absolutely. Yeah, a lack of variety this weekend, I would say. We do have the FA Cup Final, there's Liverpool vs. Chelsea, that should be a fascinating affair, and the penultimate Premier League games, with the battles for Europe, the title and relegation all still running full steam ahead. Of note though, however, next week, the opening of the Elizabeth Line. So ahead of the Jubilee celebrations in a couple of weeks time, the Elizabeth Line or Crossrail opens, it runs from east to west, from Windsor to Canary Wharf. So the next time, the Queen wants to pop around for a cup of tea, she can do so on the train.
Wonderful, long way to the opening and I'm sure you'll be on your best behavior should that happen.
Thank you for joining us for "The Long and Short of the Week Ahead". Further insights are available on our website eurizonsljcapital.com/insights. We look forward to you joining us again next week for more insights into macro-economic events and "The Long and Short of the Week Ahead".
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