Economic Diary

DATA on Friday showing Britain grew by 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter dampened speculation that the Bank of England would change policy on Thursday. Purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) out this week for the UK should also confirm the continued rebound in the UK economy in spite of the disruption caused by the cold weather. The manufacturing PMI is out at 9.30am on Monday, followed by construction and services on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Halifax is set to release its house price index for February during the week, which is forecast to show a monthly fall of 0.5 per cent, which would be the first drop since last June. The European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to scale back the number of longer-term refinancing operations when it meets this week. But with a number of Eurozone states still struggling to stay afloat, it would be surprising for the ECB to return to complete normalisation of policy. In the US, non-farm payrolls will be the highlight of week (released on Friday at 1.30pm). The expectation is for about 25,000 jobs to have been lost and recent weekly data has been looking ominous. Also out in the US this week is the Fed’s Beige Book on Wednesday.