5 Key Economic Events to Watch This Week: September 14 - 18
Investing.com - In the week ahead, investors will be eyeing Thursday's critical Federal Reserve policy announcement. Key U.S. data on retail sales and inflation ahead of the Fed's decision will also be in focus.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and a few other significant events likely to affect the markets.
1. FOMC rate decision
The Federal Reserve is to announce its latest monetary policy decision at the conclusion of its two day meeting at 2:00PM ET on Thursday. The central bank will also release its latest forecasts for economic growth and interest rates.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to hold what will be a closely-watched press conference 30 minutes after the release of the Fed's statement, as investors look for any clear signal about a possible timeline for hiking interest rates.
Investors are still mixed over whether the U.S. central bank will hike rates this month. Some traders believe the Fed could postpone raising interest rates until later this year, as officials are likely to remain concerned over volatility in financial markets due to fears over a China-led global economic slowdown.
Fed funds futures, which estimate the likelihood of a rate increase, suggest the U.S. central bank is likely to delay moving rates from September to December.
The timing of a Fed rate hike has been a constant source of debate in the markets in recent months.
2. U.S. retail sales report for August
The Commerce Department is expected to report at 8:30AM ET on Tuesday that retail sales rose by 0.3% last month, after gaining 0.6% in July. Core sales are forecast to increase 0.2%, after rising 0.4% a month earlier.
Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.
3. U.S. inflation data
On Wednesday at 8:30AM ET, the Commerce Department is forecast to report that consumer prices fell by 0.1% in August, after increasing 0.1% in July. Core inflation is forecast to gain 0.1%, after rising 0.1% a month earlier.
A soft reading would dampen expectations for higher interest rates at some point this year.
4. Swiss National Bank policy announcement
The Swiss National Bank is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at record-low levels and reiterate that it is still prepared to take further action to weaken the franc when it meets at 8:30AM London time ,or 3:30AM ET, on Thursday.
The franc weakened to more than 1.10 per euro (EUR/CHF) this week for the first time since the SNB lifted a currency cap last January.
5. Bank of Japan rate decision
The Bank of Japan is expected to keep policy steady when it meets during morning hours in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is expected to offer a bleaker view on the global economy at a press conference following the announcement, which may prompt him to lower the bank's assessment on the country's exports.
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