Is anecdote better than sentiment?
- Assorted service sector sentiment figures come out on both sides of the Atlantic today. The reliability of these surveys is such that there is really no point getting too worked up as to minor moves, but in both Europe and the US the data should be consistent with ongoing economic expansion..
- The Fed's Beige Book of economic anecdote is likely to keep a broadly bland tone to the overall economic assessment, but the details may be interesting. The Fed is of the opinion that the lower oil price is inflationary as a source of demand stimulus, and evidence of that process may be forthcoming.
- As the Bank of England start their policy meeting, the BRC report further deflation in shop prices - the consequence of an ongoing (and presumably temporary) supermarket price war. As with oil prices, the attitude of the Bank of England is that this will provide additional stimulus to the UK economy.
- Australian growth in the fourth quarter of last year was in line with expectations. The detail showed a good performance for private sector demand, and a reasonable level of export demand, but the capital spending story was weak and that may trouble the RBA as it looks to balance a strong housing market with weaker economic trends.