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Macro Week Ahead: Cyprus, Fed and China PMI in focus

Macro Week Ahead: Cyprus, Fed and China PMI in focus

18.3.2013 16:14

Cyprus bailout deal and unprecedented levy on bank savings in focus. The parliamentary vote in Cyprus to pass the bailout deal has been put off for another day, until 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The delay is because of negotiations over the amendments to the deposit levy legislation, in an attempt to win votes for the measure. Until the vote is passed, negative market sentiment will dominate as investors will brace for a new round in eurozone debt crisis. Still, imposing the tax levy, a precondition to Cyprus receiving the bailout, will at the same be viewed as dangerous precedent and thus might add to risk-off sentiment amid concerns it will lead to capital flight in other eurozone periphery countries. All that said, with the ECB’s OMT pledge in place, largescale
market panic still seems unlikely.

Fed meeting and Bernanke’s conference closely eyed. Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday will be closely watched by the markets this week. Fed is expected to keep policy unchanged - interest rates are seen on hold and bond-buying upheld at USD 85bn per month. Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference on Wednesday, presenting Fed’s newest forecasts on GDP, inflation and unemployment. We expect Bernanke will want to signal that the unwinding of QE3 is unlikely until recovery is much further advanced.

Flash China PMI to show some reverse of February decline. China’s Flash PMI figure for March is due Thursday. Investors have recently become concerned that growth momentum in this world’s second biggest economy is slowing. Last month brought a drop in the PMI to 50.4, which however might have been influenced by the New Year holiday. The market is expecting the March PMI to partly reverse the February decline and rise to 50.8, supporting the view that China is well on track for economic rebound.

Eurozone PMIs expected to improve in March. On the eurozone macro front, the main focus this week will be the release of March Flash PMIs for France, Germany and the euro area due Thursday. Market will closely watch whether the decline in February prints - euro area Composite PMI declined to 47.9 in February from 48.7 in January - was a one-off or the March figures will confirm the renewed slowdown. Market consensus expects the February decline to be partly reversed, with PMI Composite for the eurozone up to 48.2.

Polish February industrial output to drop again after January rebound. Apart from the wages and employment data already released today, key in Poland this week will be the February industrial output figures due Tuesday and retail sales and unemployment prints due Friday. Overall, the data will confirm the slowing down economic growth in 1Q13, which may strengthen
speculation about further interest rate cuts by the MPC.

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