The start of February brings a busy day of economic news, wherein the focus will largely be on the state of the manufacturing sector of the major economies across the globe. The performance of the UK manufacturing sector had a better than expected start to 2016 on the back of improved domestic demand. Meanwhile, in the Euro zone, the manufacturing barometer came in line with the flash estimates for January, suggesting that the economy expanded at a moderate growth rate in the first quarter of this year. Across the Atlantic, a string of US economic data including personal income and spending data, PCE inflation numbers, ISM Manufacturing PMI and construction spending data are scheduled for release later in the day.
In the final session of the week, markets will be closely scrutinising the US employment report due out today, for signs of any weakness in hiring by US employers. Recent economic data from the US has been somewhat disappointing. As a result, today’s jobs report for January will draw significant market attention as robust jobs growth is consistent with US expansion. Also, the US unemployment rate and a measure of wage inflation will be tracked for signs of a healthier economy. In other economic news, German factory orders fell more than anticipated in December, suggesting that Europe’s biggest economy ended 2015 on the back foot. Meanwhile, it is a data empty day in the UK docket today.