Week ahead 29 February

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The main focus this week will be the UK manufacturing PMI

All eyes on PMIs

The manufacturing PMI for February is due Tuesday. January’s manufacturing PMI got 2016 off to an encouraging start, hitting a three-month high of 52.9. Yet looking beyond the headline there were conflicting signals, with the drivers of growth narrower in terms of sub-sector and size, and manufacturing posting job losses for the fourth time in the last six months. February’s PMI data will provide guidance as to whether manufacturing will regain much-needed momentum in 2016 or whether the January PMI was a false signal.

Meanwhile, the UK services PMI out Thursday will give an insight into the health of private consumption, the main driver of UK economic growth. Private consumption growth slowed in the three months to December for the second consecutive quarter.

In the US, the manufacturing ISM - a leading indicator of activity in the sector - is also due on Tuesday. The manufacturing ISM will show whether the sector in February remained in the territory associated with contraction for a fifth month in a row.

This week we will be blogging the UK manufacturing PMI and an outlook for the metal product sector.


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