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Weekly Financial Market Review - Comment for the 20th February 2017 - 24th February 2017

Information supplied by AIB

The data for the week ahead are generally expected to continue to point to solid economic growth. A number of key survey indicators for February are due in the Eurozone. The flash composite PMI is forecast to edge lower, while remaining near January’s 5½-year high. Meantime, the flash EC measure of Eurozone consumer confidence is expected to hold steady, after five consecutive months of improvement. Thus, it should remain consistent with a solid pace of consumption growth.

In the UK, we get our first look at the expenditure breakdown of Q4 GDP. Markets will be looking for any signs of Brexit related impact, particularly in business investment. They will also be looking to see if growth has remained unbalanced, with data suggesting that the economy is continuing to rely heavily on consumer spending. This could be a problem going forward, as rising inflation slows the pace of real wage growth. This week’s UK schedule also includes public finance data for January, along with the CBI surveys for February.

Finally, we get Q4 labour market data in Ireland. The QNHS is likely to show that year-on-year employment growth remained strong in the quarter. Meanwhile, it should also confirm that the unemployment rate continued to fall at an encouraging pace. Irish CPI inflation data for January are also due this week.

Exchange Rate Forecasts (Mid-Point of Range)

Current End Q1 2017 End Q2 2017 End Q3 2017
EUR/USD 1.0651 1.05 1.03 1.02
EUR/GBP 0.8568 0.85 0.86 0.87
EUR/JPY 120.20 121 121 122
GBP/USD 1.2428 1.24 1.20 1.17
USD/JPY 112.83 115 117 120

Current Rates Reuters, Forecasts AIB's ERU