We’re going to learn a lot about the state of the U.S. and global economy this week, with key announcements due out on everything from trade to monetary policy, jobs, manufacturing output, personal income & spending, corporate results, and much more.
On the trade front, the Financial Times reports “Trade talks are set to resume this week when U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin head to Shanghai to begin negotiations on Tuesday. Vice-premier Liu He is expected to lead the talks for China. Previous discussions collapsed in May when the U.S. accused Beijing of backpedaling on its commitments and resulted in president Donald Trump raising levies on $200bn of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, along with a threat to slap 25 percent tariffs on a further $300bn worth of products.” Sticking with China, the consensus forecast for this week’s official Chinese manufacturing PMI report is for a slight uptick in July to 49.5 (from 49.4 in June), which would still fall below the 50 threshold separating expansion from contraction.
Monetary policy is the other key economic story this week as the Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, and other central banks come out with new policy statements. The general consensus is that the Fed will cut rates by a quarter percentage point (with a few brave souls forecasting a half percentage point cut -- don’t bet on it), while the Bank of Japan and Bank of England are expected to keep rates on hold. On the U.S. economic calendar, investors will be paying close attention to the monthly jobs report late in the week, with the consensus forecast for an increase of 160,000 nonfarm payrolls in July, down from the 224,000 gain in June. Other key reports to keep an eye on this week will cover U.S. manufacturing PMI, consumer spending, consumer confidence, construction spending, factory orders, and the trade balance for June. On the corporate calendar, we’ll get earnings reports from Apple, Verizon, General Motors, General Electric, ExxonMobil, and other big hitters this week. In Europe, Brexit and the new U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson will remain in focus, along with euro zone reports on GDP, unemployment, inflation, and manufacturing PMI. Have a wonderful week!