Fischer v Yellen compete for attention
- Conflict in Yemen is attracting media attention, but for markets the direct impact is likely to remain limited (saturation media coverage and its impact on sentiment is more likely to have an impact on investors than are Yemen's economic links).
- We hear from Fed Vice-Chair Fischer and Chair Yellen today - economists who are not necessarily in sympathy in terms of their ideology. Fischer is focusing on regulation (an important policy tool) and Yellen is speaking at the end of the US session on the new normal for policy, so potentially pertinent for markets.
- US data is unlikely to compete with Fed speak for market attention. Final Michigan consumer sentiment is no more reliable an indicator than the preliminary number. Final Q4 GDP is a) not final and b) somewhat old news, though we see some upside risks to the revisions.
- Japan offered its periodic data dump (presumably in the hope that the bad news will be overlooked). Retail sales and inflation figures were weak, consumer spending negative but less negative than feared, and disposable income negative but not too negative. The income figure is probably the most important as a challenge to deflation.