2016 has been a wild year in the global financial markets, but it isn’t over yet. The month of December is expected to deliver several juicy events that could rile the markets ahead of New Year celebrations. Below is a track sheet of the top market-moving events for the month of December.
December 2: US Nonfarm Payrolls
No month is complete without arguably the most closely followed data release. The US Labor Department will release November nonfarm payrolls on the first Friday of the month. The report is expected to show the creation of 170,000 jobs in November, giving the Federal Reserve more than enough scope to possibly raise interest rates (more on that later).
December 6: Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Rate Decision
Monetary policy is in full swing in December. The RBA will issue its final interest rate decision of the year on December 6. After multiple rate cuts throughout the year, the RBA might end on a whimper, as policymakers continue to monitor the domestic economy.
December 7: Bank of Canada (BOC) Rate Decision
The BOC will also release its latest rate decision in the first week of December. BOC Governor Stephen Poloz raised eyebrows in October when he said the central bank was close to cutting interest rates again. Calmer heads prevailed. Investors may likely see a repeat of that performance on December 7.
December 8: China Trade (November), European Central Bank (ECB) Rate Decision
Investors may contend with high profile economic data and a major central bank statement on December 8. Following the release of Chinese trade figures, the market might quickly shift its focus to the ECB rate decision. While no change in monetary policy is expected, the December announcement could unveil the future of the ECB’s bond-buying program.
December 9: China Inflation (November), UK Consumer Inflation Expectations
China will once again make headlines by releasing the latest consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) for the month of November. In the United Kingdom, the Bank of England will release its latest report on consumer inflation expectations. This report will be closely followed by the markets after the BOE (BOE) said it expects inflation to overshoot its target by the most since 1997.
December 12: China Industrial Production, Retail Sales, Urban Investment (November)
Beijing will release a big triad of reports on December 12, giving investors the latest insights into the country’s consumer, property and industrial sectors.
December 13: UK inflation (November)
All eyes will be on the UK consumer price index (CPI) report on December 13, as the first evidence of the BOE’s anticipated “inflation overshoot” could be on display.
December 14: US Federal Reserve Rate Decision; US Retail Sales, Industrial Production (November)
December 14 is expected to be a blockbuster, as investors are nearly 100% certain the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates for the first time in a year. The Fed, which wraps up its two-day meeting on a Wednesday, will also release its revised summary of economic projections covering inflation, GDP and unemployment. This will include the Fed’s infamous “dot plot” summary of interest rate forecasts. Separately, a spate of US data will be released, including retail sales and industrial production.
December 15: Swiss National Bank (SNB) Rate Decision; Bank of England Rate Decision; US Inflation (November
Monetary policy might make headlines well into the second full week of December when the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and BOE make their final rate decisions of the year. While no possible change in monetary policy is expected at either bank, the BOE is expected to spill its guts about the future of the post-Brexit economy.
In the United States, the Labor Department will also release a closely followed retail sales report.
December 19: Bank of Japan Rate Decision
Three months after uprooting its monetary policy program, the Bank of Japan will deliver its final rate decision of the year. No changes are expected at this time, as the embattled BOJ continues to search for evidence of inflation and economic growth.
December 22: US Personal Income and Outlays (November)
The Commerce Department will report on personal income and outlays in the days leading up to Christmas. This report will also include the latest data on core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.
December 26: Japan Inflation (November and December)
Japanese data might make headlines after Christmas, beginning on Boxing Day with the release of national and Tokyo CPI inflation figures.
December 27: Japan Industrial Production (November)
The health of Japan’s manufacturing sector may be on display in the days leading up to the New Year when the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reports on industrial production.
 Gordon Isfeld (October 19, 2016). “Bank of Canada was close to cutting interest rate Wednesday, Stephen Poloz reveals.” Financial Post.
 Chris Giles (November 3, 2016). “BoE forecasts biggest inflation overshoot since 1997.” Financial Times.