European Manufacturing PMI from Markit Economic is a proven indicator of economic conditions in European manufacturing sector. The indicator spiked to as low as 33.6 during the great financial crisis in 2009, rebounded to as high as 59.0 in 2011 and then consolidated around the boom/bust mark (50.0) for the following five years. ECB has been running an ultra-easy monetary policy since 2014 but it wasn't until 2017 that positive effects became visible on the indicator which climbed steadily and peaked at 60.6 in December before pulling back sharply.
A preliminary (flash) reading of Markit's Services PMI will provide an up-to-date snapshot of the current business sentiment in the U.S in April. The indicator is a lower-tier one, perhaps underrated in that it serves as a great leading indicator of economic activity in the country. It is currently standing near the middle of the three-year range between, roughly, 50.0 and 60.0. The index surged to 56.9 last August, which proved to be at least a short-term top. The index bounced back this year, to as high as 55.9 in February. Another decent figure would be welcomed by USD/JPY bulls.
Inflation report from ABS contains two of most important Australian macroeconomic indicators. CPI and Trimmed Mean CPI are both closely monitored by the RBA to gauge inflation pressures which in turn impacts how they set interest rates. QoQ indicators usually get the most attention but it's their YoY counterparts that are easier to read. CPI (YoY) recovered from 2016 through, as Trimmed Mean CPI (YoY) did to a somewhat lesser extent. Inflation around the globe appears to have been making at least a shorter-term peak. AUD/USD looks vulnerable in the near term.
IFO Institute for Economic Research is one of Germany's largest economic think-tanks. It's hallmark Business Climate index attracts wide publicity, though its ability to move short-term prices waned in recent years. The index is compiled from a survey of about 7,000 respondents that are asked about the current business conditions and expectations for the next six months. Current cycle bottomed in 2014 at 103.2 and thus far extended to 117.6, an all-time-high. A peak appears to have been put in place. A full 10-point drop is expected for April. Seems a bit of a stretch.
More than a million single family homes were sold each year pre-crisis, peaking near 1.5M in 2005 - 2006 period, after which the number started to decline. New Home Sales indicator bottomed at 250K in March 2011. We've been seeing a steady uptrend from there but in eight years the number barely approached the half of what was sold at the peak. Leaving absolute values aside, the indicator remains an important barometer of U.S. economic health. Housing market doesn't show signs of overheating yet. Sales volume may increase in spring.
Weekly pack of U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association's indicators includes 30-Year Mortgage Rate, Mortgage Applications, Purchase Index, Mortgage Market Index and Mortgage Refinance Index. Mortgage Rate has been falling steadily over the years, from above 10.0% in 1991 to below 4.0%, but rose above 4.5% in recent months. In line with that, there has been a trend lower in Mortgage Market Index, Mortgage Refinance Index and Mortgage Applications. Mortgage Purchase Index appears steady at approximately a half of the value it had before the subprime mortgage meltdown.
ECB extended asset purchase program by another nine months last October. Asset purchases continue at a slower pace (30 billion per month). At the most recent meeting, on March 8th, the bank removed the explicit pledge to buy more assets if needed. They were optimistic on growth, particularly in the shorter term. More recently, ECB officials didn't seem as upbeat while Draghi's dovish speech last week implies caution ahead. Add in all other conflicting factors, and we could get a couple of whipsaws before (if?) the direction is resolved.
Initial Jobless Claims indicator's impact has waned in recent years. Whether is that a consequence of much improved labour market, unprecedented monetary stimulus from global central banks or something else, is debatable. Nevertheless, it is still a useful and a very prompt indicator of (un)employment. In the space of only a couple of weeks, the indicator matched the 50-year low (220K) twice and then blasted through it to as low as 210K. 4-week average is currently sitting at 231.25K, up from 230.00K a week ago. Durables report, released at the same time, could turn out weaker than expected.
Bank of Russia holds reserves in foreign currencies to back liabilities as well as influence monetary policy. Central Bank Reserves indicator measures the U.S. dollar denominated value of all foreign assets held by the bank. At the end of March the bank held 458.0B worth of assets: 377.5B in foreign exchange, 80.5B in gold, 7.0B in SDRs and 2.7B in reserve position at IMF. The bank accumulated most of the reserves during 2000 - 2008 period, reaching a peak just below 600B. The reserves have been consolidating near 450B in more recent years. Rouble may weaken a bit with U.S. dollar strength.
Gfk's Consumer Confidence index for U.K. measures the level of consumer confidence in the country. Historically, the index has spent more than three quarters of time underwater (below zero). Notable peaks have been 21 in 1978, 10 in 1978, 10 in 1997 and 7 in 2015. Notable troughs have been -30 in 1975, -35 in 1990, -39 in 2008 and -13 in 2017. The index has improved this year and is currently standing at -7. Estimate for March sits just there. GBP/USD appears poised to continue lower next week but may reach a bottom by Friday.