Macroeconomic & Geopolitical

Shoppers Are Back—Spending is the New Saving

April 2021 – 3 min read
Europe remains on track for a delayed recovery as consumers weathered winter lockdowns fairly well. In the U.S., retail sales and inflation data popped up in March. Elsewhere, credit growth in China slowed as policymakers remain confident in the economic recovery.


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


  • Flash PMIs for April will show the extent to which reopening in the absence of herd immunity is boosting the U.S. recovery. We also will watch to see if companies are able to pass along rising input prices to consumers.
  • Earnings season has begun, and we will watch to see if data live up to the optimistic outlook. S&P 500 earnings are expected to increase 24.5% Y/Y in Q1, which would mark the highest growth since Q3 2018.


  • ECB Meeting for April is unlikely to result in any policy change, but the press conference will focus on the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), its pace of purchases, its expiration (March 2021) and challenges from the German Constitutional Court.
  • Flash PMIs for April will give clues on the pace of the recovery as restrictions start to ease.

Asia Pacific

  • The PBOC meets next week, and while markets expect no changes to Loan Prime Rates, ongoing focus will be on its open market operations, which has not injected any new net liquidity YTD.
  • South Korea preliminary first 20-day exports for April will likely moderate after five-consecutive months of gains. Expect greater focus on whether recent supply bottlenecks are causing a drag on auto exports.

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Matteo Cominetta

Director, Economist

Agnès Belaisch

Managing Director, Chief European Strategist

Max Bennett


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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