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Global Economy Week Ahead: Fed and Bank of England Meetings, U.S. Jobs Report

29 Jan 2017 8:00 pm
By WSJ Staff 

The week brings a full slate of economic data on the U.S. and Europe. In the U.S., the highlight will be the release of the first jobs report under President Donald Trump, who has criticized how the Labor Department calculates the unemployment rate.

MONDAY: Figures from Germany's statistics agency may show that inflation topped the European Central Bank's target of just under 2% in January. That would be the first such occurrence since December 2012, and likely lead to louder calls for an end to the ECB's stimulus programs from within the eurozone's largest member.

In the U.S., a report on personal income and spending will show whether consumers -- the linchpin of the world's largest economy -- boosted spending in December amid a surging stock market.

TUESDAY: Figures to be released by the European Union's statistics agency will show whether the eurozone economy gained momentum as 2016 drew to a close, as is widely believed. Economists estimate gross domestic product increased 0.4% in the final three months of the year, faster than the 0.3% recorded in the second and third quarters. Figures released by France's statistics agency are likely to show that a pickup in the eurozone's second-largest member aided that acceleration.

Eurostat also likely will report a further acceleration in inflation during January, with economists expecting a rise to 1.6% from 1.1% in December. That would be the highest since July 2013.

In Asia, the Bank of Japan will release a policy statement and quarterly outlook report, amid fresh evidence that its 2% inflation target remains far out of reach.

WEDNESDAY: The Federal Reserve will wrap up its first policy meeting since raising interest rates in December. The central bank is expected to keep rates the same. But it could provide more details on the timing of future rate increases amid signs of rising inflation and a firming labor market. Meantime, the U.S. manufacturing sector -- facing the threat of a strengthening dollar -- will get a checkup with the release of a purchasing managers index for January by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group.

THURSDAY: The Bank of England releases a policy statement, minutes and inflation report. The U.K. economy has remained buoyant after the country's June vote to leave the European Union, and the falling pound is fueling faster inflation, raising questions about the BOE's policy path.

FRIDAY: The U.S. government releases the January jobs report, offering a broad snapshot of the labor market as the Trump administration took office. Economists project employers added 170,000 jobs -- not far off from last year's monthly average -- and that the jobless rate remained 4.7%, a level the Federal Reserve considers at or near full employment.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 29, 2017 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

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