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.
So off the back of a week where the UK has seen a glimpse of freedom, the start of a return to normality. We also had quite a heavy week when it comes to the US economic data and reports. As the world then shifts its focus back to Europe and the U.K.. What are you watching? What's on the top of your mind this week?
I think there are certainly a couple of points outside the US that I think it was worth noting. We start on Tuesday with the U.K. unemployment report for February. Now, that may be a little bit early to have much of a reflection on the recovery story, but I do think it's an interesting starting point. Whether we see an improvement in employment as employers start to brace themselves for the reopening, and how that plays out in the broader UK narrative with expectations of positivity towards this release of some of the forced savings that we had through the lockdown. So I think the UK comes back into focus a little bit next week.
On Thursday, the ECB is going to be a big focus for broader markets. The March meeting pledged a significantly faster pace of PEPP purchases, the emergency QE program. So we'll be looking to see how any commentary around whether or not the ECB are comfortable with this pace, whether there there'll be any change to that pace or indeed, actually, because there was no increase in the overall envelope. Whether or not the ECB will suggests that there are any points in the future, whether they are data based or chronologically based to reduce that pace to bring it back so that we can complete the envelope at some point. Any other narrative or commentary around the recovery will also be quite important, certainly in relation to the European vaccination pace and tighter restrictions. I think that's particularly key. This week we saw a couple of downgrades of German economic growth. So I think the market focus on how we how we square off the expectations of the recovery with the delays to some of the reopening schedules and Q2 will be a particular focus for that. So I think that'll be quite interesting.
And lastly, with the ECB, there may be some focus on the bigger picture, inflation targeting dynamic within the ECB. How are we square the fact that at the moment the policy review may likely suggest a more symmetric inflation target, yet we're currently running significantly below target. So 1.4% Inflation at the forecast horizon still requires a bit more of a boost. So where's that going to come from? What's the narrative?
I think the PMI data will be a big focus for for Europe in particular. In March, we saw a big acceleration, if you will, as the global recovery story began to feed into the data. Subsequently we saw tighter restrictions, more negative economic news in terms of the virus across Europe and we'll be keen to see how that fits into the PMI data as we move into April. And also, you know, the equivalence, how we see expectations of reopening play out in the UK PMI data. There may also be some divergence there.
So a week with with eyes returning to Europe and the U.K., obviously within the U.K., as mentioned, we've had a reopening. We've had a slight glimpse, shall we say, of freedom. So to outside of markets, are you managing to take advantage of any of the reopening?
Absolutely. I shall be paying a visit to a local restaurant of mine for the first time this year, which I'm very much looking forward to. And beyond that, at the the events that are taking place this weekend, we have the reopening of this year's world championships snooker that starts this week and the Italian Grand Prix over the weekend. So whether it's tapping the side of the coffee table in appreciation of good safety shot or on the edge of your seat into the chicane, there's something for everyone this weekend.
Fantastic. Well, I hope you enjoy your time in the restaurant. No doubt, well deserved. Thank you, everybody, for joining the "Long & Short of the week ahead". Further insights can be found via our website on eurizonsljcapital.com/insights. And we look forward to you joining us again next week. Many thanks.
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