The highlights of next week will be the European Central Bank and Bank of England policy meetings as well as the all-important US nonfarm payrolls report. PMI releases from several countries will also be interesting to watch.
The ECB meeting will be held in Cyprus on Thursday March 5th. All eyes will be on the news conference that follows to see what ECB President Mario Draghi will have to say on the Bank’s new QE program which starts in March. The ECB agreed to embark on a 60 billion euro a month bond buying program last January 22nd in an effort to revive the Eurozone economy and fend off deflation.
Eurozone inflation turned negative in December for the first time since 2009 following a steep drop in global oil prices and fell further in January by 1.1% month-on-month, while the annual inflation rate stayed at 0.8%. Flash estimates numbers are due on Monday and inflation is forecast to come in at 0.5% for February.
Unemployment figures and retail sales numbers for the Eurozone are also due next week, while final PMI data for both the manufacturing and services sector are also important to watch as they will give important insights into how the euro area is performing. GDP data will be updated for the region as well.
Another major central bank meeting to watch out for next week will be the Bank of England, also held on March 5th. However no change in the benchmark interest rate is expected. Meanwhile, UK manufacturing, services and construction PMI survey results all due next week will provide some insights into how the British economy is faring.
The Reserve Bank of Australia will announce its latest interest rate decision on Tuesday, with many analysts expecting a rate cut of at least 25 basis points from the current 2.25%. On Wednesday, Australia releases fourth quarter GDP numbers.
Australia watchers will pay close attention to Chinese final PMI data next week since China is Australia’s main trading partner.
PMI data will also be released in Japan. The final survey results for manufacturing and services will provide more detail into the economy, after the flash survey for January showed sustained growth in the economy.
Finally, the highlight of the week will be the US nonfarm payrolls report. Expectations are for a drop from the prior 257,000 figure to 243,000.