FX News Today
Fed governor Brainard noted some pick-up in inflation, in her comments on CNBC, with the core PCE rising to a 1.7% y/y pace in January. But that’s only one data point, she stressed, and she wants to see a pattern of increases moving toward the 2% target. Core inflation has also remained stubbornly low. She believes there’s reason for price pressures to build, especially if oil prices stabilize, upward pressures on the dollar abate, and the firming economy boosts demand. But she also sees troubling signs that inflation has moved lower of late, as she noted various downside risks to growth from abroad. She abstained from giving signs on the timing of a hike, but emphasized the two Fed mandates of growth and stable prices, and noted that there hasn’t been much progress on the latter. That suggests she won’t vote for a hike next week, or in the near future. He comments were consistent with prior remarks.
Fischer: the Fed would prefer not to use negative rates, he said in Q&A. The FOMC has been looking at what other countries have been doing, in terms of employing various policy tools, and he noted that negative rates have worked somewhat better than expected. Additionally, it seems in his mind it’s a moot point as he indicated the US is not that far away on inflation, and he sees price pressures picking up once oil and the dollar stabilize.
US consumer credit rose $10.5 bln in January after a revised $21.4 bln surge in December (was $21.3 bln). November’s $14.0 bln increase was nudged up to $14.1 bln. Non-revolving credit remained the leader, climbing $11.6 bln compared to the prior $15.9 bln increase (revised from $15.4 bln). Revolving credit declined $1.1 bln versus the prior $5.5 bln gain (revised from $5.8 bln). It’s the first decline for that component since February 2015.
Main Macro Events Today
- Final EMU Q4 GDP: The final reading of Eurozone Q4 GDP is expected to be confirm growth rates of 0.3% q/q and 1.5% y/y, but is too backward looking to change the outlook. The focus will be on the breakdown, which is likely to show that domestic demand and consumption remain the mainstay of growth, but investment seems to be also picking up, judging by national data already released.
- BoE Governor Carney Speech: Markets look forward to governor Carney’s speech in order to have clues on the banks future rates policy. We expect the BoE to stave off from hiking rates until Q4 2016 or Q1 2017. Continued disinflationary pressures along with slowing emerging market growth, together with abatement in domestic economic momentum, have been quelling BoE tightening ambitions.
- BoC Rates Decision: No change is expected to the 0.50% policy rate. A better than expected Q4 GDP gain relative to bank expectations ( 0.8% vs flat) along with three months of export gains through January are supportive of a repeat of the cautiously constructive growth outlook. We could see a bit more optimism creeping in, given the good news on GDP and exports, along with firming oil and commodity prices and financial markets that have stabilized/improved after a poor start to the year.
- Canada Housing Starts and Permits: We expect starts, due Tuesday, to improve to a 175.0k unit rate in February (median 182.5k) after the back to back declines in December to 172.5k and January to 165.9k from 212.0k in November.
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