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NEWSQUAWK WEEK AHEAD PREVIEW: Highlights include US jobs report, ISM surveys; China PMIs; EZ inflation, retail sales, unemployment; RBA, Aus GDP, retail sales

  • MON: UK Holiday; Japanese Industrial Operating Profit (Prelim/July), Chinese NBS Manufacturing & Non-Manufacturing PMI (Aug), Japanese Consumer Confidence Index (Aug), German CPI (Prelim/Aug), Import Prices (July), Canadian Producer Prices (July), US Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index (Aug), New Zealand Import/Export Prices (Q2)
  • TUE: RBA Monetary Policy Decision; South Korea GDP (Q2/R); Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI (Aug/F);  EZ, UK and US Markit Manufacturing PMI (Aug/F); German Unemployment Data (Aug); EZ Flash CPI (Aug) and Unemployment Rate (Jul); US ISM Manufacturing PMI (Aug)
  • WED: Australian GDP (Q2); German Retail Sales (Jul); US ADP National Employment (Aug) and ISM NY Index (Aug)
  • THU: Australian Trade Balance (Jul); EZ, UK and US Markit Services and Composite PMIs (Aug/F); EZ Retail Sales (Jul); Canadian Trade Balance (Jul); US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI (Aug)
  • FRI: Australian Retail Sales (Jul); US and Canadian Labour Market Reports (Aug)

US JOBS REPORT (FRI): The consensus looks for 1.55mln nonfarm payrolls to be added to the US economy in August, with the pace of employment gains cooling versus July's 1.76mln. Looking at that July data, Capital Economics said the rise gave some reassurance that a resurgence of COVID cases had not pushed the economy into reverse, despite some states re-imposing restrictions. But the July data was partly a reflection of the timing of the payroll survey in the second week of the month, CapEco says, with most indicators suggesting that despite the slowdown, activity was still higher in early July than it was at the start of June; "although they have started to pick up again over the past couple of weeks, as the number of new coronavirus cases has started trending lower, those same indicators showed little improvement between early July and early August," the consultancy writes. Admittedly, the August high-frequency data has signalled growth in employment conditions; initial jobless claims have been ticking lower, albeit at a slow pace; continuing claims data has also improved on the month; PMI sub-indices for employment also jumped, according to data provider Markit; and the August NFP report will also get a boost from temporary hiring for the 2020 Census, where fieldwork began on 11th August (200k temporary workers have been employed, though the effect of this will wear-off in the months ahead).

US ISM MANUFACTURING PMI (TUE) & NON-MANUFACTURING PMI (THU): The manufacturing PMI headline is seen rising slightly to 54.7 in August from 54.2. Regional Fed manufacturing PMIs have been mixed in August. The non-manufacturing headline is expected to pare back to 57.1 from 58.1. Desks have noted that new orders and production sub-indices have seen more pronounced swings since lows in Q2. Analysts at Credit Suisse expect that the ISMs will see a peak in September, arguing that there are near-term risks to the downside; although COVID cases are trending lower, the bank says that the cooler weather conditions in the fall amid pressure to re-open schools creates the conditions for future outbreaks; CS also notes that business investment will continue to be pressured, while there is uncertainty over how long the virus can persist. And adding to all of this, fiscal support is fading, with Congress at an impasse over future measures.

CHINESE NBS MANUFACTURING & NON-MANUFACTURING PMI (MON): The official manufacturing gauge is seen rising a touch (to 51.2 from 51.1); the non-manufacturing is seen remaining around the prior 54.1 level. The numbers have been trending higher in recent months as economies gradually recover from the pandemic shutdown. Chinese PMIs returned to pre-pandemic levels in June, and analysts are generally satisfied that the data now shows industry in the country has normalised. Desks will continue to monitor the PMI data from China’s major trading partners in the region. The services gauge may reflect some signs that consumer spending has eased despite the labour market continuing its own recovery; that could be a sign that pent-up demand has run its course, some argue.

RBA POLICY DECISION (TUE): All analysts polled by Reuters expect the RBA to stand pat, holding its Cash Rate at 0.25%, and the 3yr yield target to remain at 25bps. At the last meeting, the Bank surprisingly said that it will purchase Aussie bonds in the secondary market to ensure 3yr yields remain consistent with its target, although some analysts suggest that there were expectations for the Bank to re-enter the market at some point anyway, as per earlier comments from the Board. The statement also said that the Board is committed to do what it can to support jobs, incomes and businesses, while it forecast inflation to average between 1.0%-1.5% over the next couple of years and said the Australian economy was going through a very difficult period. The statement made no mention of the AUD FX rate despite the Governor last month saying that he would prefer a lower exchange rate, though would not intervene. Credit Suisse suggests that the odds are under 50% that the RBA will announce further QE, but it does expect policy to be left unchanged for a minimum of four years; it says that incremental policy easing is likely to include an extension of the TFF after it expires next year.

EZ FLASH CPI (TUE): The Street looks for flash CPI to rise 0.2% y/y in August, cooling from the prior rate of 0.4%. The super core measure is seen moderating to 0.8% y/y from 1.2%. It is worth noting that the forecast range for the headline y/y shows some analysts are expecting negative inflation to be seen for the first time since May 2016. That, however, is unlikely to be too much of a concern to the ECB, Danske Bank says, since it will mostly be a function of German VAT reductions (Chancellor Merkel has this week said there are no plans to extend this reduction beyond the end of this year). More broadly, and with a longer-term view, there is a developing argument that the Federal Reserve’s moves towards an average inflation targeting regime may put pressure on the ECB to overshoot inflation to make up for missing its target during downturns; however, some commentators note that such measures may face opposition from some of the more hawkish contingent at the central bank.

EZ RETAIL SALES (THU): The pace of retail sales growth is seen moderating in July; the consensus looks for 1.4% m/m from the prior 5.7%.

EZ UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (TUE): Analysts look for the unemployment rate to tick up by two-tenths of a percentage point, taking it to 8.0% in July.

AUSTRALIAN GDP (WED): Analysts forecast real GDP in Q2 will contract by 6.0% q/q, and the y/y figure is seen printing -5.3%. The data period covers the temporary and partial shutdowns in Australia. In terms of details, measures were imposed around mid-March, non-essential workers were given a stay-at-home order during April into May, whilst restrictions eased through May and June into July. That said, the second lockdown in Australia’s second largest state of Victoria could deal a blow to the rebound. Analysts at Westpac recently upgraded their Q2 forecast to -6.0% q/q from the prior -7.0% due to less severe construction and business investment partials, but the bank notes that the risks around this forecast are “immensely greater” than is typically the case, and the bank says we should expect surprises in the national accounts data. Looking beyond Q2, risks remain over the containment; “legacies from the virus, social distancing and international travel restrictions, and legacies from the recession, high unemployment, as well as the fragilities pre COVID, will act to temper the pace of recovery”, Westpac concludes.

AUSTRALIAN RETAIL SALES (FRI): July retail sales are seen increasing 3.3% m/m vs. June’s 2.7%. The final estimate will contain additional colour with regards to store-type and state details, but the Australian Bureau of Statistics has already nuanced that gains are bolstered by basic food, household goods components, alongside the state of Victoria’s weakness offset by reopening rebounds in other states. While state divergence is expected to widen in August, given the Stage 3 restrictions across Victoria and the Stage 4 orders in Melbourne. However, Westpac downplays the importance of the metric, noting that “retail is currently a poor guide to wider spending as it misses some of the largest negative impacts from the COVID–19 crisis and is skewed towards segments that are benefitting from expenditure switching.”