5 Key Economic Events to Watch This Week: August 31 - September 4
1. U.S. nonfarm payrolls report
The U.S. Labor Department will release its highly-anticipated report on August nonfarm payrolls at 8:30AM ET on Friday.
The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 220,000 last month, following an increase of 215,000 in July, while the unemployment rate is forecast to decline to 5.2% from 5.3%.
Monthly jobs gains above 200,000 are seen by economists as consistent with strong employment growth.
A strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls report was likely to add to speculation over when the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates, while a weak number could undermine the argument for an early rate hike.
2. Chinese manufacturing data
Market players looked ahead to a pair of manufacturing reports due out of China on Tuesday for further hints over the strength of the world's second largest economy.
The official China manufacturing purchasing managers' index was expected to fall to 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July.
Meanwhile, the final reading of the Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index was forecast to inch up to 47.2 from a preliminary reading of 47.1, which was the lowest since July 2013.
A reading below 50.0 indicates industry contraction.
3. U.S. ISM PMI reports
The U.S. Institute of Supply Management is to release data on August manufacturing activity at 10:00AM ET on Tuesday, amid expectations for a modest decline.
Meanwhile, the ISM is to report on August service sector activity on Thursday. Service sector activity in July grew at the fastest pace since August 2005, boosting optimism over the health of the economy.
4. ECB policy meeting
The European Central Bank's latest interest rate decision is due at 12:45PM London time, or 7:45AM ET, on Thursday.
No policy change is expected, with most of the focus likely to be on President Mario Draghi's press conference at 1:30PM in London, or 8:30AM ET.
5. U.K. PMI's
The U.K. will release readings on August manufacturing sector activity on Tuesday, followed by reports on the construction and services sectors on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The manufacturing PMI is forecast to inch up to 52.0 from 51.9 a month earlier, construction activity is expected to improve to 57.5 from 57.1, while the services PMI is projected to rise to 57.6 from 57.4.
Most market players expect the Bank of England to begin slowly raising interest rates in mid-2016.
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