Global economic events: US inflation, Super Bowl, and Indonesia elections

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

As the world prepares for a dynamic week of economic indicators and cultural events, eyes are particularly focused on the United States where inflation data is set to be unveiled. The January Consumer Price Index (CPI), both headline and core, along with the Producer Price Index (PPI), are anticipated to dominate discussions, offering insights into the trajectory of the world's largest economy.

Simultaneously, anticipation is high for the Super Bowl showdown on Monday morning, pitting defending champions, the KC Chiefs, against the San Francisco Forty Niners, with the added allure of a performance by Taylor Swift.

While China remains closed for the Lunar New Year holiday and Japan gears up to reveal December quarter GDP data, analysts are closely monitoring US retail sales figures for January to gauge the economy's momentum at the start of the year.

Market forecasts project a slight dip in US inflation, with the CPI expected to moderate to around 2.8% - 3.1% in January, down from December's 3.4% for the headline rate, and a stable 0.2% month-on-month increase. Core CPI is forecasted to ease to 3.7% from 3.9% in December, reflecting ongoing monitoring by economists for signs of inflationary pressure.

Commenting on the outlook, economists from Moody’s anticipate gradual inflation slowing through 2024, aligning with the Federal Reserve's target of 2%. AMP's chief economist, Shane Oliver, underscores the importance of CPI and PPI data, projecting retail sales to decline by 0.2%, while highlighting expectations for modest improvements in manufacturing surveys amid persisting weaknesses.

In Australia, focus shifts to January jobs data following a significant loss of 65,000 jobs in December, with Shane Oliver forecasting a 35,000 job gain and a slight uptick in the jobless rate to 4%.

Additionally, key releases include business conditions and consumer confidence surveys, alongside earnings reports from nearly 50 ASX 200 companies, with the Commonwealth Bank's half-yearly report taking center stage.

Over in Japan, attention turns to December quarter GDP growth, with expectations of a 0.3% quarter-on-quarter increase, driven by contributions from capital expenditure and trade.

Meanwhile, in the UK, eyes are on fourth-quarter GDP figures and employment data amid concerns of contracting growth for another quarter.

As economic events unfold, Indonesia gears up for national elections on Wednesday, adding a political dimension to the global landscape.

With a diverse array of economic indicators, cultural spectacles, and political milestones, the week ahead promises to be one of both scrutiny and celebration on the global stage.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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