Week ahead 20th August

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ONS’s new release schedule means we’ve already seen most of this month’s relevant domestic data releases, so this week’s look ahead has more of an international flavour to it… well a European one. Last week’s flash estimate for 2018q2 showed EU economies expanding at a decent pace with GDP up 0.4% on the quarter and 2.2% on the same period a year ago. This week we’ll see some surveys indicating how conditions are shaping up in the third quarter.

Flash PMIs

On Thursday there will be an early look at the PMI activity indicators in the major Eurozone economies. While growth may be chugging along, there are nevertheless concerns about the potential impact of mounting trade tensions. Production faltered in the Eurozone in June, with total industry output down 0.7% on the month. While July’s PMIs pointed to improving activity levels in July, the survey also noted that “inflows of new work have been stymied recently by a weakening trend in the pace of increase in new export orders.”

We’ll be looking for any further signs that worries about trade wars are starting to hit confidence and the real economy.

German ifo index

Similarly the German business climate index from ifo has been on the slide since the start of the year. July’s release showed that the manufacturing index had fallen for six consecutive months, weighted down by companies’ poor assessment of current business conditions.

ONS analysis

In addition to the regular series of statistical updates, ONS has been releasing some interesting deep dives into its data wells. Recently, their analysis of R&D trends by ownership of companies raised some pertinent questions about the behaviour of foreign and domestically owned firms since the financial crisis.

Today sees the publication of an International perspective on UK foreign direct investment. As we try and unpack the secrets to getting productivity growth back on track, we’ll be taking a look to see if the issue of ownership provides some of the answers.  

EEF manufacturing fact card

Clearly the big statistical event this week is the launch of our annual fact card. Find all the need to know stats about the sector and what’s been happening since our 2017 fact card here.

 

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Chief Economist

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