The Euro continued to strengthen yesterday on more positivity on Greece and news the European Central Bank raised its forecast for inflation this year, but remained cautious of the economic recovery losing momentum. Data showed euro inflation turned positive in May and the closely-watched core rate jumped to 0.9 percent, signalling an end to the threat of deflation, which prompted the ECB to begin printing money earlier this year.
After leaving interest rates at a record low 0.05 percent, the ECB raised its inflation forecast to 0.3 percent for this year, having previously put it at zero. They stated that its trillion-euro-plus asset buying programme was paying off earlier than forecast, but had to be seen through.
"Inflation bottomed out at the beginning of the year," Draghi said. "The recovery is on track. However, we had expected stronger figures than our projections ... There has been some modest loss of momentum."
Draghi repeated that lifting inflation towards its near 2 percent target depends on full implementation of the quantitative easing scheme, which is due to last until September 2016 and said the ECB would look through any market volatility. With oil prices now rising and the impact of last year's dramatic fall dropping out of the equation by the end of 2015, price pressures should rise automatically.
Growth in Britain's service sector suffered its steepest slowdown in nearly four years in May, according to a survey that suggested the economy might not recover as quickly as hoped after stumbling in early 2015. Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell back to 56.5 last month, still comfortably in growth territory but down from 59.5 in April and at its lowest level since December.
The monthly drop was the biggest since August 2011 and the reading undercut the lowest forecast, though the index did show signs that rock-bottom inflation could pick up. Combined with a weak manufacturing figure and a bounce in construction, combined growth across the three sectors in May was the slowest since December and the second-weakest for two years, Markit said.
Chris Williamson, Markit's chief economist, said the weakness would be a concern for the Bank of England which is considering when to raise interest rates from a record low of 0.5 percent, where they have sat since the financial crisis.
The trade deficit in the US narrowed more than forecast in April as imports declined, signalling merchandise flows were returning to normal following a port-related surge. The gap shrank by 19.2 percent to $40.9 billion from the prior month’s $50.6 billion which was the widest in more than six years. Purchases of foreign-made goods declined after the end of a labour dispute at West Coast ports caused them to jump in March.
The non-farm payroll estimate figure revealed companies added more workers in May than the prior month, a sign U.S. job growth is getting back on track after a slow start to the year ahead of Fridays headline figure.
In the U.S., the combination of more jobs, lower gasoline prices and low borrowing costs are likely to help lift household purchases, which account for almost 70 percent of the economy. Policy makers also expect growth to pick up, which is one of many reasons they’re considering raising the benchmark interest rate that they’ve held near zero since December 2008.
12:00 - GBP - Official Bank Rate is expected to remain at 0.50%
13:30 - USD - Unemployment Claims
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