After a quiet few weeks, this week turns a new month and traders get a slew of tier one data to digest. The US jobs report is the highlight, with Nonfarm Payrolls and wage growth key. However, there is something for everyone this week, with consumer confidence, growth and inflation measures evenly spread. Outside of the US, traders will be eyeing Eurozone inflation and the manufacturing PMIs. In Latin America, it is all about jobs and central banks.

Watch for: 

  • North America – US Nonfarm Payrolls are key, along with US Consumer Confidence, final Q4 GDP and Core PCE (the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge).
  • Europe & Asia – Manufacturing PMIs for major economies and Eurozone flash inflation  
  • LatAm – Unemployment for Mexico, Chile and Colombia, with central bank decisions for Chile and Colombia.

North American data: 

  • US Consumer Confidence (Tuesday 29th March, 1500GMT) Confidence is expected to drop to 108.0 in March (from 110.5 in February)
  • ADP Employment change (Wednesday 30th March, 1315GMT) Consensus forecasts suggest +400,000 jobs were added in March (slightly lower than the 475,000 in February).
  • US GDP – Q4 final (Wednesday 30th March, 1330GMT) Consensus forecasts suggests there might be a slight upward revision to 7.1% at the final reading for Q4 (up from 7.0% prelim, +2.3% final Q3)
  • US Core PCE (Thursday 31st March, 1330GMT) Headline PCE is expected to increase to 6.7% (from 6.1) but early estimates suggest core PCE may fall slightly to 5.1%  in February (from 5.2% in January)
  • Canada GDP - monthly for January (Thursday 31st March, 1330GMT) Growth of +0.2% is expected in January (from 0.0% in December)
  • Nonfarm Payrolls (Friday 1st April March, 1330GMT) Headline payrolls are expected to have added 450,000 jobs in March (after adding 678,000 in February).
  • Canada Manufacturing PMI (Friday 1st April, 1330GMT) The Manufacturing PMI is expected to fall slightly to 56.0 in March (from 56.6 in February)
  • ISM Manufacturing (Friday 1st April, 1500GMT) Consensus is forecasting only a slight drop to 58.5 in March (from 58.6 in February)

Last week’s flash PMIs gave a fairly upbeat assessment of the US economy in March. SO it will be interesting to see what sort of picture the Consumer Confidence paints. Michigan Sentiment has been falling sharply for almost a year, and the Conference Board’s confidence indicator is now expected to fall to levels not seen since February 2021. 

Consumer confidence

The ISM Manufacturing data has been sliding back for about a year now, and previously it was expected that March would continue this trend, however, the flash PMIs last week suggested that businesses were looking past the war in Ukraine to an extent. This may make for a positive surprise in the ISM data this week.  

ISM Services PMI

The US jobs report is the key announcement of the week. Headline Nonfarm Payrolls are expected to show growth of 450,000 jobs in March after very strong growth in February. Revisions to priors months also help to tell the overall story, so should also be watched. As should the wage growth, which has been above 5% since October. 

Market Reaction: 

  • There are plenty of market-moving events on the US economic calendar this week.
  • Nonfarm Payrolls is the key data for USD traders. A broadly strong report (higher jobs growth, increased wage growth) will be USD positive.

Europe & Asia: 

  • China PMIs - official (Thursday 31st March, 0200GMT) Analyst consensus is looking for a reduction on all measures for the government’s data, with Manufacturing falling to 49.1 in March (from 50.2 in February), Non-Manufacturing to fall to 50.2 (from 51.6) and the General PMI to turn into contraction at 49.9 (from 51.2)
  • UK GDP – final Q4 (Thursday 31st March, 0930GMT) Consensus is not looking for any revision for the final reading at 1.0% 
  • Eurozone Unemployment (Thursday 31st March, 1000GMT) Forecasts suggest may improve slightly to 6.7% in February (from 6.8% in January)
  • Japan Manufacturing PMI - final (Friday 1st April, 0130GMT) Consensus is expecting final PMI at 53.2 in March (up from  52.7 in February).
  • Eurozone Manufacturing PMI - final (Friday 1st April, 0900GMT) Analysts are not expecting any change from the 57.0 flash reading (58.2 final in February).
  • UK Manufacturing PMI - final (Friday 1st April, 0930GMT) Analysts are not looking for any change to the flash reading of 55.5 in March (which is down from 58.0 in February). 
  • Eurozone flash inflation (Friday 1st April, 1000GMT) Consensus forecasts suggest an increase in March headline inflation to 6.3% (from 5.9% in February) and core inflation up to 3.1% (from 2.7%).

Much of the data could be seen as a box-ticking exercise this week. Final UK Q4 growth is not expected to throw any surprises, whilst the Manufacturing PMIs for Japan, Eurozone and UK are all final readings, not expected to be revised. However, the Chinese PMIs are forecast to be either stagnant (services) or in contraction (manufacturing and general). Any negative surprises to this will cause a stir for broad sentiment.

Final Composite PMIs

Inflation is a hot topic for traders at the moment. With price levels rising around the world, Eurozone inflation is finally building upside traction. However, core inflation is expected to increase above 3% for the first time (and significantly above the 2% target of the ECB). This will fuel the resolve of the hawks (such as central bank chiefs from Germany and Austria) on the Governing Council. With upside surprises to inflation in the US and UK recently, any similar surprise for Eurozone inflation would help to support the EUR.

Eurozone Inflation

Market Reaction: 

  • Broad market sentiment may take a lead off the China PMIs on Thursday. Moves into contraction for the industries of the second-largest economy in the world may drive a risk-negative bias.
  • EUR to find support if inflation comes in higher than expected.

Latin America: 

  • Chilean central bank interest rate (Tuesday 29th March, 2200GMT) The central bank is expected to increase rates by +50bps to 6.0% (from 5.5%)
  • Mexico Unemployment (Wednesday 30th March, 1200GMT) The rate is expected to increase slightly to 3.8% in February (from 3.7% in January)
  • Chile Unemployment (Wednesday 30th March, 1300GMT) The rate is expected to increase slightly to 7.4% in February (from 7.3% in January)
  • Colombia Unemployment (Thursday 31st March, 1500GMT) The rate is expected to ease back to 12.3% in February (after jumping sharply to 14.6% in January).
  • Colombia central bank interest rate (Thursday 31st March, 2000GMT) The central bank is expected to increase rates by +50bps to 4.5% (from 4.0%)
  • Brazil Manufacturing PMI (Friday 1st April, 1300GMT) The PMI is expected to fall further into contraction at 49.0 in March (down from 49.6 in February)

The general theme for Lat Am is that with central banks increasing interest rates, unemployment is beginning to tick higher again. The jobless rate is expected to increase slightly in both Mexico and Chile. Also, in Colombia, although expected to moderate after spiking higher in February, the rate is still expected to be above where it has been for much of the past six months.

Both the Central Bank of Chile and the Colombia Central Bank are expected to hike by 50 basis points. In Chile, the interest rate is already at levels not seen since 2009 but a +0.5% increase would be less aggressive than the 150basis points hike of January. The central bank in Colombia also hiked aggressively (by 100 basis points) in the last meeting at the end of January, so at an expected +50bps this would be seen as something more moderate. An increase to 4.5% would be the highest level since 2018.

LatAm currencies

Market Reaction

  • COP and CLP volatility around the central bank decisions, but also unemployment too.
  • BRL has been very strong recently, but any downside surprise in the PMI might induce some near term profit-taking.

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