Week Ahead – ECB Playing Catch-Up – MarketPulseMarketPulse – MarketPulse

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The labor market is still strong but is showing signs it is ready to soften as wages cool.  Wall Street will pay close attention to the February inflation report.  Disinflation trends are struggling here and a hot report could not only lock the Fed into boosting their hiking pace but possibly lead markets into expecting a higher peak rate.  Headline inflation is expected to slow from 6.4% to 6.0%.  The monthly inflation rate is expected to edge lower from 0.5% to 0.4%, while the core reading is expected to hold steady at the 0.4% pace. 

While the inflation report will get the majority of the attention, traders should also pay close attention to the February retail sales data which should show consumer spending is weakening.  Housing data is expected to remain weak, while a couple of Fed regional surveys (Empire/Philly) should show manufacturing data remains deeply in contraction territory. Friday’s release of consumer sentiment is expected to hold steady, while many traders will pay close attention to see if inflation expectations continue to retreat. 

With the Fed’s blackout period quickly approaching, only Bowman will make an appearance on Tuesday at the Community Bankers Event in Hawaii. 


The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday but it’s what comes next that investors will be most interested in. This makes the new economic projections that are released alongside the decision, and the press conference, arguably the most important things to watch out for.


Labor market figures on Tuesday are the standout release next week but it’s the spring budget a day later that people may be most interested in. The fact that the UK is not already in recession will come as a big surprise to many and one of the benefits of that may be a little extra fiscal headroom for the Chancellor. Unfortunately, giveaways may be few and far between for a number of reasons that may make holding off more appealing to the government. 


The CBR is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at 7.5% on Friday. Inflation has been declining but remains far above target which may encourage the central bank to stay on hold for now. 

South Africa

It’s a little light on economic data next week with manufacturing production and retail sales the only notable indicators on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. 


No major data or events next week. 


It’s a little quiet next week but the focus will remain on what the SNB will do on 23 March, especially after the inflation overshoot in February. Markets are still pricing in 50 basis points with a small chance of 75.


The National People’s Congress (NPC) has made a more conservative forecast of 5.0% GDP growth in 2023. Recent economic data has shown a strong recovery in the economy, confirming expectations for an early recovery but softening expectations for fiscal and monetary stimulus. The lifting of the zero-Covid policy has led to a surge in business activity, reduced operational interruptions, and robust data on commercial activities. 

Powell’s testimony this past week lifted the US dollar against the Chinese yuan pushing the pair close to the psychological level of 7.0000 which may attract attention once more. 

Focus next week will remain on the data including retail sales, industrial production, fixed asset investment, and unemployment.


Markets are pricing in one more rate hike in the tightening cycle at the next meeting on 6 April but next week’s inflation data could change that. Recent trends around the world have seen more rate hikes being priced in and India is no exception after the inflation jump in January. If it doesn’t prove to be an anomaly, further hikes could be priced in.

Australia & New Zealand

Next week offers the Australian unemployment rate, employment change, and change in full-time employment on Thursday. From New Zealand, we’ll get fourth-quarter GDP data on Wednesday and we’ll also hear from Assistant Governor, Karen Silk on Sunday


There isn’t much on the agenda next week, with the minutes of the Bank of Japan’s January monetary policy meeting on Wednesday arguably the highlight. Minutes are often viewed as being outdated but nowhere is this more true than in Japan, where those of the January meeting are released after the March meeting has taken place. For that reason, it would take something extraordinary for them to have a big impact on the markets. 

Kazuo Ueda, the new governor of the BoJ who will take office in April, recently stated that it is not a good time to abandon the current policy considering the current economic environment. He supports its continued commitment to massive quantitative easing and is not expected to significantly adjust the yield curve control, which has limited the attractiveness of the yen.


Unemployment data on Monday is the only economic release this upcoming week.

Economic Calendar

Sunday, March 12

Economic Events

New Zealand Food Prices

Japan BSI Manufacturing Index

Monday, March 13

Economic Data/Events

India CPI 

Mexico Industrial Production

New Zealand REINZ House Sales

Australia Westpac Consumer Conf, NAB Business Confidence

BOE’s Dhingra speaks

Tuesday, March 14

Economic Data/Events

Fed’s Bowman Speaks at Community Bankers Event in Hawaii

UK Claimant Count Rate, Jobless Claim Change, ILO Unemployment Rate

Swiss Producer and Import Prices

Italy Industrial Production

India Wholesale Prices

South Africa Mining Data

BoJ Minutes of January Meeting

BoJ Outright Bond Purchases

Riksbank in hearing on the annual report, monetary policy

Wednesday, March 15

Economic Data/Events

US Empire Manufacturing, Retail Sales, PPI, NAHB Housing Market Index, MBA Mortgage Applications, Business Inventories, Net Long-term TIC flows

China PBOC 1-year MLF Rate, Industrial Production, Retail Sales, Fixed assets, Nw Home Prices 

UK Chancellor Hunt delivers annual budget

EIA Crude Oil Inventories

Sweden CPI 

France CPI

Poland CPI

Italy Unemployment Rate, General Government Debt

South Africa Retail Sales 

India Trade Data

New Zealand GDP 

Australia Employment Change

Thursday, March 16

Economic Data/Events

US Initial Jobless Claims, Philly Fed Business Outlook, Import and Export Prices, Housing Starts, Building Permits

Canada Wholesale Trade Sales

ECB Rate Decision: Expected to raise Main Refinancing Rate by 50bps to 3.50% 

ECB President Lagarde holds a post-rate decision press conference

BOE releases Ipsos inflation survey 

Japan Industrial Production

Sweden Prospera’s Inflation Expectations Survey

Czech Current Account

Poland Current Account

Swiss SECO March Forecasts

New Zealand Q4 GDP 

Riksbank Business Survey, Floden speaks

UK OBR briefs on budget

Japan Trade Balance

Australia Employment Change

Singapore Non-Oil Domestic Exports

Friday, March 17

Economic Data/Events

US Industrial Production, Leading Index, University of Michigan Sentiment,

Canada Industrial Product Price

Eurozone CPI, OECD Publishes Interim Economic Outlook

Sweden Unemployment Rate

Baker Hughes Rig Count

Russia central bank (CBR) rate decision: Expected to keep rates steady at 7.50%

Sovereign Rating Updates


Belgium (S&P)

Spain (S&P)

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary.

His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News.

Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

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