US: housing in focus
The US calendar is much lighter this week with a focus on housing. There have been some signs of moderation but this reflects a lack of property on the market and high prices rather than a slowdown in demand. Consumer confidence is close to a record high and employment is very strong. Two further rate hikes in September and December from the Federal Reserve remains our call.
UK: resilient data, for now
UK data has been quite good recently, suggesting some resilience despite the fast-approaching Brexit deadline. However retail sales will likely soften from last month given the ongoing squeeze on spending power. Inflation may edge modestly lower. As such, we continue to see little prospect of another BoE rate hike until after Britain formally leaves the EU.
Eurozone: Italian budget to dominate
In the eurozone, digesting the outcomes of the European Central Bank meeting, as well as the discussion on the Italian budget should dominate headlines.
Norway: Rate hike in view
The key event this week is the Norges Bank policy meeting on Thursday, which is likely to see the first interest rate hike in Norway since 2011. The NB has signalled clearly its intention to raise rates and we fully expect them to not only deliver a 25 basis point rate hike but also an interest rate forecast that signals somewhat faster rate hikes in future. In Sweden, the minutes from the Riksbank’s September meeting could also prove interesting, showing the reasoning (and internal arguments) behinds its current policy. And the political situation in Sweden will remain uncertain as the mainstream parties seek to negotiate a compromise government following a very close election.