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Sentiment in the US and Europe improving

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  • Japan's Tankan survey was in line with expectations for current conditions but exhibited some weakness in expectations - reflecting, perhaps, corporate concerns about today's consumption tax hike. Wage growth also disappointed in February and was revised negative in January.
  • US manufacturing sentiment data from the ISM is scheduled, and forecast at a consensus 54 (signalling a steady, perhaps somewhat dull economic expansion). Fed Chair Yellen gave a dovish tone to her remarks on policy.
  • Chinese manufacturing sentiment either signalled accelerating expansion or worsening contraction, depending on which data set you want to look at. The Reserve Bank of Australia cautiously noted that China may have slowed a little in Q1, but does not seem unduly alarmed.
  • Euro area sentiment should continue to show expansion, with France no longer acting as a drag. The data is not likely to pacify market concerns about deflation risks, although economists are less likely to share those concerns.
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