Top indicators and events that will impact the economy this week, Nov 3-9

A jobs fair at the Bronx Public Library on Sept 17, 2014, in the Bronx Borough of New York City. -- PHOTO: AFP
A jobs fair at the Bronx Public Library on Sept 17, 2014, in the Bronx Borough of New York City. -- PHOTO: AFP

It's a tale of two cities this week with economic data likely to highlight the contrasting fortunes of the United States and Europe.

All eyes are set on the US monthly non-farm payrolls report due Friday. US employers are expected to have expanded their payrolls by 233,000 jobs in October, according to a Reuters poll. That figure, if confirmed, would validate the Federal Reserve's assertion in its statement last Wednesday that the job market continues to make strides towards full health.

On Monday and Wednesday, purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), or the equivalent Institute of supply management ISM) indexes for October will show how businesses see things shaping up in the US and Europe. One for China's has already come in lower than expected.

On Tuesday, the European Commission (EC) will give its latest economic forecasts which are widely expected to show the European economy at risk of going backwards after a very modest recovery from the 2008 global financial crash and subsequent debt crisis.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will issue its own forecasts on the G20 economies on Thursday.

But this week's highlight is the European Central Bank interest rate meeting on Thursday. The ECB is expected to keep rates unchanged so attention will be on ECB president Mario Draghi's comments at the news conference that follows the rate announcement.

Many in financial markets would like to see the ECB move to a full quantitative easing (QE) asset-buying programme like the one the Fed has just ended or the one the Bank of Japan stunned markets with last week, but this seems unlikely given German opposition. Also, last week's inflation data let the ECB off the hook on taking any immediate additional action to combat the threat of deflation, Reuters reported. At 0.4 per cent in October, inflation is worryingly slight, but it is higher than it was a month earlier.

The euro is also down more than 1.5 per cent against the US dollar since the Fed ended QE on Wednesday, and down more than 10 per cent since May. This has taken some of the pressure off the ECB. A weaker euro not only boosts euro zone exports, it imports inflation, both of which the ECB wants to see.

Still, as the Bank of Japan showed, central banks are capable of surprise moves.

The Bank of England also looks to keep interest rates on hold at record low levels on Thursday. This is partly because the British recovery, while strong compared with elsewhere, is still tentative and is unlikely to be sustainable if Britain's main trading partners decline, Reuters reported.

On the local front, it's a light week for economic data. But Parliament will be sitting on Monday and among the questions for discusion are those on Singapore's weak Q3 GDP results and the potential impact of US Fed rate hikes.

(all times are local)

MONDAY, Nov 3

9am: China official non-manufacturing PMI for Oct

9:45am: China HSBC final manufacturing PMI for Oct

1:30pm: Singapore Parliament Sitting

5pm: Euro area final Markit manufacturing index for Oct

11pm: US ISM manufacturing index for Oct

TUESDAY, Nov 4

9:30pm: Singapore PMI for Oct

9:30pm: US trade figures for Sept

Time unknown: EC releases its latest economic forecasts for eurozone economies

WEDNESDAY, Nov 5

11pm: US ISM non-manufacturing index for Oct

THURSDAY, Nov 6

8pm: Bank of England announces interest rate decision.

8:45pm: ECB interest rate decision

9:30pm: ECB news conference.

Time unknown: OECD releases its preliminary economic outlook

FRIDAY, Nov 7

5pm: Singapore Foreign Reserves for Oct

9:30pm: US non-farm payrolls

11:15pm: Fed chairman Janet Yellen participates in "Policy Since the Onset of the Financial Crisis" panel before the International Symposium of the Banque de France: Central Banking: "The Way Forward?"

SATURDAY, Nov 8

10am: China trade figures for Oct

SINGAPORE TOP CORPORATE EARNINGS FOR RELEASE:

Monday, Nov 3: Cosco Corporation Q3

Tuesday, Nov 4: Jardine Cycle & Carriage Q3, Global Logistic Properties Q2

Wednesday, Nov 5: StarHub Ltd Q3

Thursday, Nov 6: Singapore Airlines Q2, Sembcorp Industries Q3, Ezion Holdings Q3, Ascott Residence Trust Q3

Friday, Nov 7: Venture Corporation Q3, Noble Group Q3