Additionally, while much of this week’s data only confirmed that this is going to be the worst global economic contraction in recent memory, it is what happens once the lockdown restrictions are lifted which is of greater importance – and we got a flavour of this in today’s data (Friday 15 May 2020), which helped turn equity market sentiment around.
Although US retail sales data for April was appalling (falling 16.4%), it was pretty meaningless as it simply confirmed what we already know – sales fell as Americans stayed at home as the coronavirus outbreak closed shops, restaurants and car salesrooms – and in a sense today’s data can’t get much worse, meaning the only way is up!
However, of more interest was the University of Michigan Sentiment, as this gives us a taste of what we can look forward to as lockdowns start to ease – and consumer sentiment for May came in at 73.7. Not only was this well above estimates of 65, it was actually 1.9 points higher than April’s 71.8 reading – i.e. consumers became more confident.
Looking at this coming week’s data, the unprecedented collapse in global economic activity caused by the coronavirus lockdowns mean much of the data will be useless as it is effectively out of date.
However, of most use and interest will be the weekly US jobless claims on Thursday (21 May 2020) – especially the continuing claims data, for clues if laid-off workers are being re-employed.
Additionally, we have minutes from the Fed’s last meeting on 29 April 2020; US housing starts; Eurozone consumer confidence; UK employment data (unemployment rate and weekly earnings); and UK retail sales; along with an alphabet of economic data including: US, UK & Eurozone PMI; UK & Eurozone CPI; UK RPI; UK PPI; and Japanese Q1 GDP.
Investment Management Team