FX Daily

Euro-area retail sales are expected to have continued to increase in January after the German figure released yesterday was very strong. The increase should reflect that private consumption has strengthened as consumers’ purchasing power has been boosted due to the lower gasoline price. In light of this the deflation in the euro area has not resulted in postponed consumption in anticipation of declining prices.

Focus is also on euro-area service PMIs with most attention on the first release of the Spanish and Italian figures. In Spain new orders should continue to point to stronger growth, whereas the Italian PMI suggests stagnation will continue. In the UK we expect the service PMI to increase to 57.8, indicating that the UK economy continues to recover. Due to a large service sector in the UK the service PMI is more important than the manufacturing PMI.

In the US we expect a minor decline in the non-manufacturing ISM to 56.5 but the index remains at an elevated level. The service sector is benefiting from the boost to households’ spending from the lower oil price and is less sensitive to a stronger USD than the manufacturing sector.

Ahead of the release of the US labour market report for February the ADP employment report is likely to get some attention today. For more about the US labour market see US labour market monitor: Solid but slower job growth, 3 March.

Norwegian house prices for February could surprise on the upside.

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