German imports fell sharply in October and exports also weakened, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is still struggling to shake off the impact of a slowdown in China and other emerging markets. Meanwhile Britain’s Chambers of Commerce is lowering its forecasts for UK economic growth over the next three years, with the slowing world economy again the root cause. That comes before the Bank of England’s latest rate-setting meeting on Thursday: no change seen for now, but BoE chief Mark Carney could use the publication of the meeting’s minutes to tweak expectations for when the hike could come (currently seen as much as a year or more away).
The U.S. November jobs report is expected shortly, and in all likelihood it will be a solid one. But forecasts around future employment are not quite so optimistic.
Finally there’s some good news on an economic statistic that really matters for the euro zone’s future – unemployment.
The Federal Reserve’s planned smooth and gradual rate hike path may be bumpier than anticipated if U.S. economic growth over the next several months and punishingly cold winter weather follow a well-established recent pattern.
Not long ago, the big debate was over who would raise rates first, the U.S. Federal Reserve or the Bank of England. Now with the Fed giving clear signals it’s on the brink of hiking and the BoE appearing to be pushing that day further off into the future, one could naturally conclude that the inflation outlook in both economies is vastly different.
Ever since Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz took office, he has preached the merits of a weaker currency for Canadian exports. But the roughly 30 percent fall in the dollar since then has failed to coax an export-based revival in Canada.
The higher you climb, the thinner the oxygen. As it prints more money to help the economy, the European Central Bank has climbed ever steeper. Yet prices, a barometer of economic health, are dangerously close to reversing. If that happens, and shoppers postpone big buys or companies keep a lid on wages, we could see Japan-like stagnation. To avoid that, the ECB is set to top up bond-buying.