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US focus

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  • Australia's Prime Minister has announced that the general election will be held in September of this year (sic). We have nearly nine months of campaigning to enjoy. Markets have not reacted too much to the announcement, but the risk of market moving populist policies is there.
  • The US Federal Reserve is not expected to change anything - though this is the first meeting of the new voting membership of the FOMC. We would look for liquidity tightening to extend later this year as the economy moves towards trend growth.
  • US Q4 growth is expected to come in weaker than consensus at 0.7%, reflecting inventory use instead of production and a drag from net exports. The former is a consequence of the autumn storms. The latter is foreshadowed in some of the Asian trade data.
  • Spanish Q4 GDP is widely expected to be negative. Indeed, we are looking for two consecutive years of negative Spanish GDP for the first time since the 1950s. Meanwhile the UK will offer credit and mortgage data.

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