A data deficit, a proliferation of politicians
- The data calendar is a dreary expanse of nothingness. The best that can be offered is the US Michigan consumer confidence survey, which is plagued with all the problems such opinion polls normally experience. The data does include consumer inflation expectations, but consumers are useless at forecasting inflation.
- US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was doing the rounds of US media yesterday, managing expectations and apparently trying to demonstrate a degree of conventionality at the heart of the current administration. The idea of China being labelled a currency manipulator at once has been quietly dropped. A more realistic timetable for fiscal reform has been proposed.
- In the UK, the ruling Conservative Party won a seat from the opposition Labour Party at a by-election. Normally this would not attract much attention, even in the UK, but the government's majority is so small that this assumes greater importance.
- Some UK politicians are expressing disquiet over the mooted EUR 60bn exit tax the rest of the EU wishes to levy on the UK. Meanwhile, opinion polls in France continue to churn out ahead of the presidential election – but markets remain focused on Le Pen's position, which is relatively stable so far.