We are about to get an epic deluge of economic releases from around the world over the next three days, and we should learn a ton about the current state of the global economy.
It all starts tonight with South Korean exports at 8 PM ET. This data release is referred to as the "economic canary in the coal mine" because South Korea sends a lot of its exports to China, the health of which is critical to the global economy.
Following that is the official China manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index), out at 9 PM ET. All eyes will be on this release following a lackluster set of first-quarter economic data published a few weeks ago and the recent collapse in the commodity complex, which many ascribe to fears over Chinese growth.
Economists expect the index to tick down to 50.7 from 50.9 in March. Any reading above 50 on the PMIs indicates expansion, so 50.7 would signal continued, but slowing growth in Chinese manufacturing.
Overnight, we will also get the latest manufacturing PMI readings from Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Ireland, the Netherlands, the U.K., and Australia.
Then, Wednesday morning, we get a ton of new data on the U.S. economy.
- At 8:15 AM ET, ADP releases its monthly employment report, which will foreshadow the bigger nonfarm payrolls release on Friday. Economists expect the ADP report to reveal that 150,000 private payrolls were created in the U.S. economy in April after reporting 158,000 new jobs in March.
- At 8:58 AM, Markit releases U.S. manufacturing PMI. Economists expect the index to fall to 52.0 from last month's 54.0 reading, indicating a slowdown in the pace of growth in American manufacturing in April.
- At 10 AM, the ISM Manufacturing index is released. It's expected to fall to 50.6 from 51.3, confirming the results from the Markit PMI report.
- Also out at 10 are data on March construction spending. Economists predict that growth in spending on construction slowed to 0.6% in March after 1.2% growth in February.
Then, the main event on Wednesday at 2 PM: the Federal Reserve's FOMC monetary policy body will announce its monthly interest rate decision. Market participants will be listening closely for any acknowledgment of the recent slowdown in U.S. economic indicators, especially those that track inflation, which by various measures has been falling in recent months.
Lately, the conversation has shifted away from tapering of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program in light of these developments, so any comments from the FOMC may prove to be illuminating.
In addition, global automakers will be reporting monthly auto sales all day on Wednesday. Analysts predict total vehicle sales were 15.22 million units at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate in April, unchanged from March. Autos – along with housing – have led the U.S. economic recovery, so a slowdown there would be a bad sign. Wednesday night, the fun begins again with more manufacturing PMI releases – starting at 9 PM ET with South Korea and featuring HSBC's China PMI at 10:45. Overnight, we will get more PMI releases from Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Poland, and Turkey. Thursday morning, the PMI releases continue with important readings on the health of manufacturing sectors around the euro zone. Spain is first at 4:15 AM ET, followed by Italy, France, Germany, and Greece, as well as a euro area-wide reading. Right after those releases, the European Central Bank will announce its monthly interest rate decision (at 7:45 AM ET). The consensus expectation among market economists is that the ECB will cut interest rates for the first time since July 2012, lowering the benchmark refinancing rate to 0.50% from 0.75% on the back of weak economic data out of the euro zone in recent weeks.
In the U.S., there are two key releases on Thursday morning, both at 8:30 AM ET:
- U.S. trade deficit for the month of March, expected to narrow slightly to $42.3 billion from $43.0 billion in February;
- and initial jobless claims for the week ended April 27, expected to rise to 345,000 from 339,000 the week before.
It's definitely not over on Thursday. Arguably, the best is saved for last.
Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the U.S. releases its monthly nonfarm payrolls report. Economists estimate the U.S. economy created 148,000 nonfarm payrolls in April after creating only 88,000 in March. The unemployment rate is expected to stay unchanged at 7.6%.
To round out the week, March factory orders data and ISM's non-manufacturing (services) index are released at 10 AM. Factory orders are expected to have contracted 3.0% in March after growing 3.0% in April. ISM's non-manufacturing index is expected to tick down to 54.0 from 54.4 in March.
So get ready.
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