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Thursday , August 13 2020

With Brexit clouding outlook, US payrolls to tilt focus to Fed – Economic growth regains speed in second quarter

LONDON, July 1, (RTRS): Investors will start to peek beyond the Brexit-dominated headlines in the coming week to gauge the outlook for the global economy, and what impact an expected rebound in US job creation will have on central banks eyeing looser policy.

Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union has cast a cloud of doubt over the world economic outlook that is unlikely to clear for months to come as economists — and central banks like the US Federal Reserve — see how the referendum result impact on hard data.

Much of the media focus in Europe is likely to be on the political bloodletting as Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, also known as the Tories, pick a new leader.

“Our suspicion is that we will not hear anything concrete on the UK’s path towards Brexit for some time now, with the Tory leadership contest raging away,” economists at Investec said in a weekly note to investors.

The main data in the coming week is therefore likely to be US non-farm payrolls numbers due on Friday, which are expected to show employers in the world’s largest economy added 180,000 jobs last month, a preliminary Reuters poll found, after May’s surprisingly weak reading of just 38,000.

“Not only service-industry corporations but also the construction industry should have maintained the momentum in the US labour market,” analysts at DZ Bank wrote in a report to clients.

Overall, recent signs of stability in US manufacturing, low numbers of layoffs and solid consumer spending data have suggested that economic growth regained speed in the second quarter.

Still, one concern in the jobs data is that although wages have been on the rise as employers look to attract new hires, the work force as a whole is not becoming much more productive.

“While stronger wage growth seems set to be a silver lining, this is unlikely to be sustained; low productivity growth may damp higher wage growth,” Madhur Jha, a senior economist at Standard Chartered, said in a report.


The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy-setting meeting, due out on Wednesday, may also reflect growing concern at the central bank over US productivity growth, Jha said.

The Fed and the European Central Bank, which issues its latest minutes on Thursday, are both likely to indicate cautious stances on monetary policy, having held their meetings prior to the Brexit vote.

Another rate rise from the Fed was already looking in doubt, and after the referendum major global central banks may now need to increase their quantitative easing programmes to help revive inflation.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney sent British government bond yields to new record lows on Thursday when he said the central bank would probably need to pump more stimulus into the economy over the summer after the Brexit vote.

One possible early indicator of vote’s effect will be the British services purchasing managers index for June, due out on Tuesday. But most of the survey responses that make up the index are likely to have been received before the vote.

Economists at Investec said the BoE’s Financial Stability Report, also on Tuesday, could also be significant if it hints at reducing the requirement for high street banks’ counter-cyclical capital buffers – part of the money they set aside to cushion themselves against economic shocks. That could free up more of their cash and help prevent the financial system from freezing up.

Among other central banks, the Reserve Bank of Australia holds a policy meeting on Tuesday, and is almost unanimously expected to keep interest rates at a record low of 1.75 percent.


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