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FX Week Ahead - Top 5 Events: Fed Speeches; UK Inflation Rate; US Durable Goods Orders; US PMI; German Ifo Survey

FX Week Ahead - Top 5 Events: Fed Speeches; UK Inflation Rate; US Durable Goods Orders; US PMI; German Ifo Survey

Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist

FX Week Ahead Overview:

  • After the Federal Reserve rate decision last week, focus now turns to the many policymakers speaking over the next few days for hints at the potential for a 50-bps rate hike in the coming months.
  • UK inflation rates are likely to push higher, posing a test for a Bank of England that has started to take on a relatively less hawkish tone.
  • As the Russian invasion of Ukraine wraps up its fourth week, questions linger about much damage has been done to the German and broader Eurozone economy.

For the full week ahead, please visit the DailyFX Economic Calendar.

ALL WEEK | Federal Reserve Policymakers’ Speeches

Fed policymakers are on the calendar everyday this week, likely proving to be a significant (if not the most significant) source of volatility for financial markets over the coming days. At last week’s press conference following the March Fed meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that “many FOMC participants feel compelled to raise Fed Funds rates above neutral rates,” a nod to the fact that interest rate hikes could be rapid and successive over the coming months. Bostic (x2), Powell (x2), Williams, Daly (x2), Mester, Waller (x2), Evans, Williams, and Barkin are all due to give remarks over the coming days, and the appetite for a 50-bps rate hike in either May or June (no meeting in April) will almost certainly be revealed.

03/23 WEDNESDAY | 07:00 GMT | GBP Inflation Rate (CPI) (FEB)

Price pressures in the UK continue to rise, and are likely to do so over the coming months even after the Bank of England raised their main interest rate back to their pre-pandemic level of 0.75% last week. According to a Bloomberg News survey, UK inflation rates are likely to have increased by +0.6% m/m in February from -0.1% m/m in January, leading to a +5.9% y/y reading from +5.5% y/y. The UK core inflation rate also is likely to have turned higher, from +4.4% y/y in January to +5% y/y in February.

But BOE policymakers have been striking a relatively less hawkish tone in recent weeks, from comments made by Chief Economist Huw Pill in early-February to the Monetary Policy Committee’s subtle-yet-important shift in language last week, when they said that some further modest tightening in monetary policy may be appropriate in the coming months; previously, they noted that further tightening “will likely” be appropriate.

03/24 THURSDAY | 12:30 GMT | USD Durable Goods Orders (FEB)

The US economy revolves around consumption trends, given that approximately 70% of GDP is accounted for by the spending habits of businesses and consumers. As such, the durable goods orders reportmake for an important barometer of the US economy. Durable goods are items with lifespans of three-years or longer – from refrigerators and washing machines to cars and airplanes. These items typically require greater capital investment or financing to secure, meaning that traders can use the report as a proxy for business’ and consumers’ financial confidence and health.In line with consumer sentiment surveys suggesting American businesses and consumers are feeling their finances squeezed thanks to multi-decade highs in inflation, the February print is expected to show a loss of -0.5% m/m after the +1.6% m/m gain in January.

03/24 THURSDAY | 13:45 GMT | USD Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash (MAR)

The US economy is facing an uphill battle contending with supply chain disruptions and ever-higher price pressures as 1Q’22 comes to a close. Gauges of economic momentum are starting to sag, with the March US Markit manufacturing PMI expected to show an initial reading of 56.3 from 57.3. The Atlanta Fed GDPNow 1Q’22 growth tracker is confirming a relatively slower expansion as well, coming in at +1.3% annualized.

03/25 FRIDAY | 09:00 GMT | EUR German Ifo Business Climate (MAR)

One of the economic knock-on effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the European economy, and in particular, Germany. Germany imports approximately half of its gas, half of its coal, and a third of its oil from Russia. Although the European Union’s and United States’ sanctions against Russia have carveouts for food and energy, the fact of the matter is that the prospect of retaliation by Russia – limiting energy exports to Germany – has muddled the outlook moving forward. According to a Bloomberg News survey, the March German Ifo business climate index is expected to decline to 94.2 from 98.9, the weakest reading since January 2021.

--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.