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Week ahead: Eyes on FOMC meeting minutes 

February 19, 2024

As we delve into the economic calendar for the upcoming week, several pivotal events and data releases promise to provide insight into the global economic landscape. From inflation figures to central bank deliberations and purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs), market participants will keenly watch these developments for signals regarding the direction of key economies. Here’s what to expect in the week ahead: 

February 20, 2024: Canadian Inflation Rate 

Canada’s annual inflation rate surged to 3.4% in December 2023, surpassing expectations and underscoring the persistent pressures on prices. The Bank of Canada had anticipated such an uptick, aligning with its outlook on inflation. Analysts now await the release of January 2024 data, scheduled for February 20, with expectations of a slight moderation to 3.2%. 

February 21, 2024: Australia Wage Price Index 

In Australia, the wage price index witnessed robust growth, reaching 4.0% year-on-year in Q3 2023, the highest level since Q1 2009. As data for Q4 2023 is set for release on February 21, analysts anticipate another uptick to 4.1%, indicative of sustained wage pressures. 

February 22, 2024: FOMC Meeting Minutes 

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in January 2024 will be scrutinized for insights into the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy stance. Despite maintaining the Fed funds rate at a 23-year peak of 5.25%-5.5% for the fourth consecutive meeting, Chair Powell hinted at the possibility of a rate reduction later in the year. However, the decision remains contingent upon evolving economic conditions, suggesting a cautious approach to policy adjustments. 

February 22, 2024: Flash Manufacturing PMI 

On the same day, flash manufacturing PMI figures for Germany, the UK, and the US will provide a snapshot of industrial activity. In January 2024, while Germany recorded a PMI of 45.5, the UK and the US posted figures of 47 and 50.7, respectively. Analysts anticipate slight improvements in the January 24, 2024, readings, with forecasts at 46.1 for Germany, 47.5 for the UK, and 50.1 for the US. 

February 22, 2024: Flash Services PMI 

Simultaneously, attention will be on the flash services PMI for the same countries. In January 2024, Germany witnessed a decline to 47.7, while the UK and the US saw expansions to 54.3 and 52.5, respectively. Projections for February 22, 2024, point to readings of 48 for Germany, 54.5 for the UK, and 52 for the US. 

As markets await these critical releases and events, investors and analysts alike remain vigilant, poised to interpret the data and its implications for economic trajectories and financial markets. The week ahead promises to offer valuable insights into the ongoing dynamics shaping the global economy.