Upcoming macroeconomic events – January/February 2019

Do you write or edit portfolio manager commentaries? Do you want to stay on top of the macroeconomic events that shape your day-to-day life as a financial services marketer?

If so, here are the big macro events that the ext. team is keeping an eye on over the coming weeks.

  • Canada’s inflation rate for December will be announced on January 18. Inflation in Canada declined to 1.7% in November, from 2.4% in October. The decline was primarily the result of the fall in gasoline prices caused by lower oil prices. The Bank of Canada (“BoC”) expects the impact on inflation from lower oil prices to linger for most of 2019
  • The European Central Bank (“ECB”) will announce its interest rate decision on January 24. The ECB concluded its asset purchase program at the end of 2018, thus removing some stimulus from the European economy. The ECB felt that strong consumer spending and rising inflation could withstand the negative effects from tightening conditions. The ECB expects to hold its benchmark refinancing rate steady until at least the fall of 2019
  • The United States’ fourth quarter advanced gross domestic product (“GDP”) growth rate will be announced on January 30. U.S. GDP grew 3.4% (annualized) in the third quarter, down from 4.2% in the second quarter. This advanced figure will give an indication as to the performance of the U.S. economy, which faced a number of headwinds including trade tensions with China and higher interest rates
  • Also on January 30, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (“Fed”) will announce its interest rate decision. At its final meeting of 2018 held in December, the Fed raised its federal funds target range to 2.25% to 2.50%. However, the committee lowered its forecast on the number of rate increases expected in 2019. The Fed is expected to hold rates steady at this meeting, but investors will no doubt scrutinize the meeting notes to try to anticipate the timing of the next interest rate increase
  • The Bank of England’s (“BoE”) interest rate decision will be announced on February 7. The BoE maintained its Bank Rate at 0.75% at its last meeting in December. While the BoE is looking to gradually increase its interest rate, uncertainty around a Brexit deal weighs heavily on its decision. Additionally, inflation has pulled back in recent months and may drop further given the significant decline in oil prices
  • Canada’s unemployment rate for January will be announced on February 8. The labour market ended the year strong as jobs were added in both November and December, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.6%

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