Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

Markets Worry, but Central Banks Stay on Message

February 2021 – 3 min read
The Fed Chairman reiterated a commitment to accommodative policy despite markets penciling in an earlier rate hike. Elsewhere, early data from China shows consumer spending held up well even with travel restrictions, suggesting the PBOC can taper stimulus this year.

Watchlist

Arrows indicate consensus forecast compared to the previous period. Local dates of release.
 

U.S.

  • Fiscal stimulus discussions next week should give a better sense of how close the bill will be to the proposed $1.9 trillion package.
  • High-frequency data suggests the February employment report should show another weak month of job gains, given the tougher winter months.
     

Europe

  • EZ January retail sales and February inflation releases surprised to the upside last month. New numbers will indicate whether EU economies are progressing better than expected and if inflation risks are real.
  • Eyes are on the OPEC+ meeting to see how much supply will be increased as demand improves.
     

Asia Pacific

  • At China’s annual NPC meeting on March 4 and 5, we will watch for rhetoric about the expected pace of fiscal stimulus withdrawal and how the government plans to reach its goal to double the size of its economy by 2035.
  • China PMIs for February will show more detail into how much renewed restrictions weighed on growth.

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Matteo Cominetta

Director, Economist

Agnès Belaisch

Managing Director, Chief European Strategist

Max Bennett

Analyst

Christian Floro

Associate Director

Kathryn Asher

Associate Director, Economist

Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA

Chief Global Strategist & Head of the Barings Investment Institute

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