The Eurozone economy is gaining momentum, with contributions from most of the 19 nations. However, economists and experts indicate that growth seems to have peaked and expressed concern regarding a slowdown in the near term. Against this backdrop, let’s consider the market-moving indicators to look out for in September.
September 1: US Unemployment Rate, Non-Farm Payrolls (August)
The US unemployment rate fell marginally to 4.3% in July, to match the 16-year low rate recorded in May. The rate is widely expected to remain unchanged at 4.3% in August. The all important NFP is due for release at the same time. In the previous month 209,000 jobs were added in the US but for August expectations are lower at 184,000.
September 6: US Balance of Trade (July)
The US trade deficit narrowed to US$43.6 billion in June, from US$46.4 billion in May. The deficit was lower than market expectations of a US$45 billion gap, achieved mainly due to an increase in exports, and marked the lowest deficit since October 2016.
September 7: Eurozone GDP Growth Rate (Q2), Eurozone Interest Rate Decision
The Eurozone economy is estimated to have expanded 2.2% in the quarter ended June 2017, up from the 1.9% recorded in the prior quarter. The interest rate is expected to remain unchanged. The benchmark rate has been at 0% and is not expected to be changed in the near term.
September 8: Germany Balance of Trade (July), UK Balance of Trade (July)
Germany’s trade surplus narrowed to €22.3 billion in June, from €24.5 billion in June 2016. Meanwhile, the UK’s trade deficit widened significantly by £2.0 billion in June to £4.56 billion. This represented the highest trade deficit since September 2016, with a surge in imports to a record high of £53.95 billion.
September 12: UK Inflation Rate (August)
The UK inflation rate was reported at 2.6% in July. The rate was the same in June and is expected to remain unchanged in August.
September 13: UK Unemployment Rate (July)
The UK’s unemployment rate fell to a new 42-year low of 4.4% in June, beating market expectations. The unemployment rate is widely expected to remain unchanged in July.
September 14: BoE Interest Rate Decision, US Inflation Rate (August)
The BoE (Bank of England) kept its benchmark bank rate at a record low of 0.25% at its August meeting. Policymakers expressed concern regarding sluggish growth in the economy in the near term. The bank rate is unlikely to be changed anytime soon. Meanwhile, US consumer prices rose 1.7% year-on-year in July, below market expectations of a 1.8% inflation rate, although coming in higher than the 1.6% reported in June.
September 15: US Retail Sales (August)
Month-over-month growth in US retail sales accelerated to 0.6% in July, from 0.3% in June. The July figure beat expectations of 0.4% growth and marked the highest retail sales growth since December 2016. The retail sales growth forecast for August incorporates a sharp deceleration to 0.25%.
September 19: Germany Economic Sentiment (September)
Germany’s economic sentiment index plunged to 10 in August, significantly short of expectations of 15 and representing the lowest reading since October 2016. The index is widely expected to fall further to around 7 in September.
September 20: US Interest Rate Decision (August)
The US Fed (Federal Reserve) left its federal funds rate unchanged at 1% to 1.25% at its July meeting and is widely expected to reiterate this target rate at its August meeting.
September 21: Eurozone Consumer Confidence (September)
The Eurozone’s consumer confidence index rose to -1.5 in August, from -1.7 in July. The market expects the index to improve to around -1.2 in September.
September 28: Eurozone Business Confidence (September), German Unemployment Rate (September), US GDP Growth Rate (Q2)
The Eurozone’s business confidence index declined to 1.05 in July, from a six-year high of 1.16 in June, and is expected to decline further in August and September. Meanwhile, Germany’s unemployment rate had declined to 3.8% in June, marking the lowest jobless rate since November 1980. The unemployment rate is expected to increase to the 5% range in August and September. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the preliminary results for US GDP growth came at 2.6% in Q2, up significantly from the 1.2% growth in Q1. The market expects the final figure for GDP growth to remain unchanged.
September 29: UK GDP Growth Rate (Q2)
The UK economy expanded 2% in the first quarter of 2017. Market projections for the second quarter call for a deceleration to 1.7%.