The Week Ahead: US Fed makes a decision on rates

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All eyes will be on the US Federal Reserve this week to see if it decides to up interest rates. This week also represents the lead up to the weekend’s German election where Angela Merkel is widely expected to hang on to the chancellorship.

Monday 18 September

  • EU inflation, August – Eurostat 

Tuesday 19 September

  • FOMC meeting Two-day meeting, September 19 – 20

“Will it or won’t it?” says Graham Spooner. Will the Fed announce another hike in US interest rates from the current range of 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent?

Spooner says there are reasons for and against. “The US consumer confidence index is surging, GDP grew at a brisk pace in Q2 – 3 per cent annualised –  new farm payrolls are still increasing at a strong rate – these are reasons to suggest that US rates need to rise again.

“But US inflation remains subdued – 1.7 per cent in August. The odds are that rates will stay on hold.”

Wednesday 20 September

  • Retail Sales in Great Britain, August 2017 – Office for National Statistics

Last month, UK retail sales increased by 0.3 per cent month on month, the same as the month before, by 0.6 per cent quarter on quarter, but by just 1.3 per cent year on year. 

“Considering how real wages are falling, it was perhaps a better month than one might have expected.” Spooner says there is a good chance that August also saw mild growth in retail sales. 

21 September

  • UK public sector finances, August 2017 – ONS
  • FCA consultation ‘Advising on pension transfers’ closes

22 September

  • Monthly Industrial Trends – CBI