WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING?

  •  As expected the UK Spring Statement saw no change in policy but gave hints of an autumn easing in ‘austerity’ as the OBR raised growth forecasts
  •  US February CPI inflation rose to 2.2% from 2.1% but ‘core’ rate stable at 1.8%
  •  US retail sales fell by 0.1% in February, a third consecutive monthly decline – first time in five and half years
  •  US consumers’ confidence hit a fresh 14-year high this month
  •  ECB Draghi dovish comments on inflation point to the downside



  YESTERDAY'S HIGH* YESTERDAY'S LOW* MIDNIGHT CLOSE*
GBP  USD 1.3053 1.2900 1.2996
GBP  EUR 1.1519 1.1428 1.1484
EUR  USD 1.1338 1.1265 1.1317


WHAT’S COMING UP?

  •  US Fed expected to raise rates from 1.50% to 1.75% - potential signposting for four hikes in 2018 (Wed)
  •  BoE statement to be deciphered for clues on May rate rise (Wed)
  •  UK inflation and labor data monitored for signs pressure in the economy
  •  Deal Brexit transition period announcement at EU summit?

The week ahead has a busy calendar of economic events. There are potentially significant central bank policy meetings in the US and the UK. The US are expected to raise interest rate to 1.75%, while the BoE may drop hints of a May hike. Brexit negotiations are expected to play a large part this week as it is hoped that a deal will be struck on transition arrangements at the EU leaders summit. Finally, there are important economic data in both the UK and Eurozone, which may shape the outlook for interest rates.