abrdn’s Thomas Watts comments on this week’s economic data releases

by | Nov 20, 2023

With all eyes on Westminster this week, Thomas Watts, Investment Analyst, abrdn, comments on this as well as other economic data releases which are scheduled for this week.

This week sees Jeremy Hunt arrive in Westminster with his dispatch box on Wednesday to deliver the Autumn statement. With economists and politicians alike hoping for a slightly more low-key event than the Truss Kwarteng “mini-budget” of last year, we should expect a fairly subdued set of measures before we move into an election year.

“Whilst all eyes will be in the Commons during the second half of the week, investor attention could well be focussed across the pond beforehand as the US Federal Reserve releases the minutes from its last meeting, providing in-depth insights into the economic and financial conditions that influenced their votes on setting interest rates last month.

“The release of the minutes comes just a day before a raft of US-centric data, including durable goods orders, consumer sentiment numbers and unemployment claims. With the US labour market remaining steadfastly resilient, many will be looking for signs of weakness as the Fed’s rate rises begin to take effect.

“Wednesday’s claims numbers will show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week and although the data is generally viewed as a lagging indicator, the number of unemployed people is an important signal of overall economic health as consumer spending is highly correlated with labour market conditions.

“The week will also bring with it a host of Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) data, detailing the results of a survey asking businesses to rate the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries and inventories. Covering both the manufacturing and services sectors for Germany, France, an overall European composite, the UK and US, the readings will give us an invaluable sense of the global economy at a company level.”

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