Central bankers will be packing their bags this week for a few days in the open. But unlike the rest of us, their annual August getaway — to Wyoming — won’t be a vacation.
The Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, which begins Thursday, will be closely watched, and for good reason. The beast of inflation has taken off its shackles and is rampaging through the world.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell headlines the symposium – he is scheduled to speak on Friday – with an audience eager to hear guidance on America’s rate-setting path. His comments are likely to be hawkish recent data on the US labor market and the views of the Federal Open Market Committee — July’s minutes revealed some uncertainty about the strength of US employment, but the committee still advocated a restrictive rate-setting policy to quell pressure on prices.
Inflation problems in the UK will be brought into focus with the expected announcement by energy regulator Ofgem of new gas and electricity price caps. Unfortunately for the British, the indications are that the pain of the domestic energy crisis has only just begun. There was an ominous sign last week when the director of Ofgem gave up in protest in the way that energy price changes have “benefited companies too much at the expense of consumers”.
Then there is Ukraine, where he will be this Wednesday mark six months since a full-scale Russian invasion, a somber occasion that happened on the same date as the country’s independence day — and just two days after the celebration of Russia’s National Flag Day.
The Edinburgh Festival is back on the streets of the Scottish capital this year and will celebrate a successful return with its traditional closing fireworks ceremony on Sunday – the same day as the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. A reminder that we can build a better future.
Surveys dominate the data schedule this week, particularly flash PMI reports and a surge in measures of business and consumer confidence, giving an indication of relative economic strength around the world.
The US will also release data on personal income, durable goods and home sales, while Japan releases inflation data. On Thursday, we will receive the minutes of the last meeting of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy committee.
This week there is a topic of financial results after isolation. For some, like pandemic darlings Zoom and Delivery Hero, it will be a return to earth as the world of hybrid work settles down.
Others hope things will pick up again after two years of restrictions. We have a bunch of airlines reporting quarterly numbers.
Qantas has grabbed the headlines this month for its managerial hiring spree as baggage carriers to alleviate chaos at airport terminals. And the flying kangaroo appears to have rediscovered some upside, forecasting a reduction in net debt to around A$4 billion ($2.8 billion) by the end of the year, while posting underlying profit growth of around A$500 million in the second half.
Read the calendar for the entire week in advance here.