Economic Events Outlook, July 16: UK Labor Market Report and US Retail Sales in Focus
Arslan Butt • 2 min read
Good morning traders. It’s the second day of a new trading week, and markets continue to focus on the US and China for clues to move forward.
On Monday, Chinese data left markets feeling confused over the weakening GDP but strong industrial production and retail sales figures. In addition, the earnings season in the US is back, and on Monday, we saw stock markets rallying over the better than expected Chinese economic data.
Meanwhile, the US dollar made some gains after a few days of weakness over increasing rate cut sentiments by the Fed. Here’s what to look forward to in today’s economic calendar.
Average Earnings Index 3m/y
It’s a leading indicator of consumer inflation and shows a change in price for businesses and the government pay for labor, including bonuses. Simply, when businesses pay more for the labor the higher costs are usually passed on to the consumer which leads to inflation.
The UK’s Office for National Statistics reported 3.1% average earnings in May, whereas, economists are expecting a neutral figure of 3.1% this month.
In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate remains low at 3.8% while wages are growing at a satisfying speed of 3.1%. Despite the positive figures, the Bank of England is unlikely to lift rates until Brexit is sorted out. The Claimant Count Change is estimated to grow by 18.9K in June after 23.2K in May. This growth in jobless claims has yet to strike the jobless rate. Overall, the impact is likely to be muted until the figures show a significant deviation.
It’s the primary gauge of consumer spending which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity. Economists aren’t optimistic about retail sales this month as the figures are expected to slip to 0.2% vs. 0.5% previously. Considering this, traders are expected to continue trading the dollar with the bearish bias.
USD – Core Retail Sales m/m
Alongside, the core retail sales will also be in focus as it shows a change in the total value of sales at the retail level, but excluding automobiles. The data is due at 12:30 GMT and the retail sales are expected to fall by 0.1% vs. 0.5% beforehand.
Fed Chair Powell Speaks – Tuesday, 17:00 GMT
The Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, the world’s most powerful central banker, is due to deliver a speech titled “Aspects of Monetary Policy in the Post-Crisis Era” at the French G7 Presidency 2019, in Paris. Investors will be monitoring the event for any unexpected remarks from Jerome Powell regarding upcoming monetary policy.