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French manufacturers recovered their optimism towards the end of Q3. The headline INSEE manufacturing sentiment index rose to 103 in September, from 101 in August, and the composite business confidence gauge also increased. A rebound in transport equipment firms' own production expectations was the key driver of the recovery.
Yesterday's final CPI report in the Eurozone confirmed that headline inflation was unchanged at 1.5% in September.
The ECB conformed to expectations today, at least on a headline level.
Our ECB-story since Ms. Lagarde took the helm as president has been that the central bank will do as little as possible through 2020, at least in terms of shifting its major policy tools.
April's GDP report, released on Monday, likely will add fuel to the fire of the re cent sharp decline in interest rate expectations.
Japan is one of the countries most exposed to economic damage from the coronavirus.
CPI inflation surprises look set to trigger larger- than-usual market reactions over the coming months, given that the MPC emphasised last month that it wants to see domestically-generated inflation rebound swiftly, after falling suddenly late last year, in order to justify keeping Bank Rate on hold.
The market-implied probability that the MPC will cut Bank Rate at its meeting on January 30 jumped to 63%, from 44%, following the release of December's consumer prices report.
Inflation pressures in France increased significantly at the start of the year.
The U.K. general election is the main event in today's European calendar, but the first official ECB meeting and press conference under the leadership of Ms. Lagarde also deserves attention.
December's consumer prices report looks set to show that CPI inflation was stable at 1.5%--in line with the consensus--though the risks are skewed to the downside.
Japan's GDP likely dropped by a huge 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, after the 0.5% increase in Q3, with risks skewed firmly to the downside.
The unexpected rise in CPI inflation to 2.1% in July--well above the Bank of England's 1.8% forecast and the 1.9% consensus--from 2.0% in June undermines the case for expecting the MPC to cut Bank Rate, in the event that a no-deal Brexit is avoided.
At first glance, the continued weakness of domestically-generated inflation, despite punchy increases in labour costs, is puzzling.
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