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Focus on flash PMIs

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • January’s flash PMI will be the data focus of the major economies. Japan’s surveys showed a notable recovery at the start of the year. But the euro area’s PMI is expected to signal ongoing subdued GDP growth. And the UK PMIs might well prove pivotal for next week’s BoE policy meeting.

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Japanese trade and Aussie employment improve

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • Japan’s latest trade report signalled a better performance for exports at the end of last year, as well as a recovery in imports on the back of improved domestic demand. Australia’s labour market report surprised on the upside too, prompting a significant drop in the market-implied expectation of a RBA rate cut next month.

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Confidence slipped back at the start of the year

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • While there was some revival of sentiment in equity markets overnight, surveys suggested that Aussie households were unsurprisingly more downbeat about conditions at the start of the year, while French businesses also signalled a slight softening of sentiment.

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No surprises from the BoJ

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • The conclusion of the BoJ’s Policy Board meeting predictably saw policy unchanged. But while it revised higher its GDP growth forecast, it also nudged slightly lower its expectation for core inflation over the forecast horizon.  As such, while we think the hurdle for additional easing is high, Kuroda reiterated that the BoJ maintains an easing bias.

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Post-tax hike pullback in Japan’s consumption smaller than in 2014

Emily Nicol
Chris Scicluna
  • As the BoJ’s Policy Board meeting got underway, Japan’s synthetic consumption figures reported a modest recovery in November, suggesting that the post-tax hike pullback was smaller than in 2014. Looking ahead, the BoJ and ECB meetings will see policy left unchanged, while the flash January PMIs (Friday) will be closely watched. 

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