New York: The US-China trade war will continue to dominate the world economy’s headlines next week as President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping go toe to toe.
Their clash is casting a pall over the world economy as investors, businesses and consumers risk retrenching until the outlook is clearer.
“Darkening trade war clouds loom over the financial landscape,” said Bloomberg Economics’ Carl Riccadonna, Yelena Shulyatyeva and Eliza Winger. “Auto tariffs have been delayed, at least for now, suggesting that the Trump administration is aiming to avoid escalating a multi-front trade conflict.”
Here’s a weekly rundown of key economic events:
The US and Canada
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak on Monday about the risks to the financial system. That’s followed Wednesday by minutes of the FOMC’s most recent meeting. “Fed watchers will scrutinise the minutes for greater clarity on the degree to which Fed officials expect recent weakness in economic activity and inflation to be transitory,” said Riccadonna. Data on home sales, durable goods and the state of manufacturing will also give an insight into the economy’s momentum before the latest deepening of the trade war.
Europe, Middle East and Africa
A farewell colloquium for European Central Bank Chief Economist Peter Praet on Tuesday will feature comments by President Mario Draghi, an opportunity for him to communicate on monetary policy. The OECD will publish its latest half-yearly forecasts the same day. Meanwhile, ECB minutes on Thursday will reveal more about the discussion in April that saw the review of negative rates inserted into Draghi’s opening statement.
UK inflation set to rise above 2% in April
In the UK, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and colleagues will speak to Parliament’s Treasury Committee on Tuesday on their latest economic forecasts, which incorporated possible interest-rate increases that the market showed signs of disbelieving. UK inflation data, out on Wednesday, is predicted to show inflation above the central bank’s 2 per cent target. As fears of war stalk the Mideast, this week brings interest rate decisions in Israel, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, with Bloomberg Economics predicting rates will be kept on hold.
Investors will be focusing on election results in Australia and India. In the former, Prime Minister Scott Morrison led his conservative government to a surprise victory, seeing off a challenge from the left-leaning Labour opposition with his pledge to safeguard the slowing economy. The next Indian government will need to revive growth momentum in the world’s fastest-growing major economy to ensure there are enough jobs for the millions entering the labour market each year.
Japan GDP tracker captures early signs of 1Q contraction
First-quarter gross domestic product data from Japan on Monday is likely to show global trade tensions and the tech slowdown are weighing on growth, while inflation data on Friday is forecast to show the 2 per cent inflation goal remains distant. Singapore and Thailand post GDP numbers Tuesday, while Taiwan will do so Friday.
Brazil is likely to suffer additional cuts to its 2019 growth outlook when the central bank releases a weekly survey of economists on Monday, days after a key activity indicator suggested Latin America’s largest economy shrank in the first quarter. Data are also expected to show the Argentine economy contracting with March’s economic activity index due on Wednesday. Mexico which publishes the final reading of first-quarter GDP on Friday.