Election fever will be front and centre this week
Published 08/02/2016 | 02:30
It's all going to be about the election again this week as parties jostle to out-do each other with economic and other policies.
There will also be data out this week that will point to continuing recovery in the domestic market. Today, the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers' Index shows that activity in the sector rose at the fastest pace in seven months, with companies hiring extra staff as the workload increases.
Later today, KBC and the ESRI will release the Consumer Sentiment Index for January. The figure reached a 10-year high in December. However, that figure was only a marginal improvement on November and it will be interesting to see how the post-Christmas lull and the election are playing on consumers' minds.
Also on the home front this week, there'll be trade statistics out on Friday and tomorrow sees the release of agricultural price indices.
No doubt any positive data is going to be lapped up by the coalition parties, which will use it as ammunition to persuade voters that their policies have paid dividends.
Elsewhere, the chair of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, will give testimony as part of her semi-annual report on monetary policy. She'll be grilled by the House Finance Services Committee on Wednesday, and by the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Investors will be closely listening for any steer on the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting, in mid-March.
There will also be plenty of interesting data out this week from around Europe. Manufacturing and industrial production figures for Britain in respect of December will be published on Wednesday. German industrial production numbers will be out tomorrow.
The Eurogroup will meet on Thursday, and that could see further talks on Greece, with the first review of the country's third bailout almost complete. The same day, there will be initial and continuing jobless claims numbers for the US.
Friday brings with it a wave of economic data from both sides of the pond. It includes GDP and consumer price index data for Germany, as well as wider EU GDP figures. Germany will also hold a 10-year bond auction, while there will be EU industrial production numbers for December published.