Global Economy Week Ahead: U.S. Wages, China PMI, Eurozone Inflation

02/25/18 03:14 PM EST
By WSJ Staff 

This week features wage and price growth data from the U.S., purchasing mangers index readings from China, and a policy statement from South Korea's central bank following the country's quarter-on-quarter economic contraction at the end of 2017.

TUESDAY: South Korea's central bank releases a policy statement after the country posted its first quarter-on-quarter contraction since the global financial crisis. The surprisingly weak economic performance in 2017's fourth quarter led economists and Bank of Korea officials to support the case for a cautious stance on central-bank policy, pushing the specter of raising rates later into 2018.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is set to testify on monetary policy before the House Financial Services Committee, his first appearance on Capitol Hill since he was sworn in as the new leader of the U.S. central bank this month. He is scheduled to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

WEDNESDAY: Official and private purchasing managers index figures from China on Wednesday and Thursday will provide an early glimpse into the condition of the Chinese economy in February. Economists said growth momentum may lose some steam as the Lunar New Year, falling in February this year, led to a shutdown of factories and services ahead of and during the holiday.

Brazil's central bank releases January fiscal data. In December, Brazil's 12-month budget deficit was 7.8% of gross domestic product, and total debt was 74% of GDP, both figures considered too high for an emerging market. Economists expect some improvement as the economy rebounded, boosting tax revenue. But a recent failure to overhaul social security is adding pressure to the government budget.

The U.S. Commerce Department publishes its second estimate of fourth-quarter GDP. The initial reading, released in January, showed the economy finally picking up steam after an unexpectedly slow expansion since 2008. Synchronized global economic growth and renewed investment spending by U.S. firms helped the country's economy accelerate in recent quarters.

The eurozone economy is growing more rapidly than at any time since the global financial crisis, but that has yet to translate into an inflation rate the European Central Bank can live with. February figures from the European Union's statistics agency are expected to show that the pace at which consumer prices are rising fell further below the ECB's target of just under 2%.

THURSDAY: The U.S. Commerce Department releases personal income data for January. Analysts will be watching for further signs of ramped-up wage and price growth that could raise the possibility of faster-than-expected monetary policy tightening by the Fed. In February, the stock market experienced its first intense bout of volatility in years after the Labor Department released a jobs report that suggested wages, and by extension inflation, were picking up faster than expected.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 25, 2018 15:14 ET (20:14 GMT)

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