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Inflation Retreat in Latin America Put to Test: Eco Week Ahead

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 05/07/2020 Juan Pablo Spinetto and Robert Jameson

(Bloomberg) -- Coronavirus cases in Latin America’s two biggest economies -- Brazil and Mexico -- are soaring, leaving the region with its worst recession since at least 1901.

That downturn is reflected in consumer prices, with most countries now facing a rare period of disinflation as demand plunges. In May, all the major economies in the region apart from Argentina had an annual inflation rate below 3%.

Data published this week for June are forecast to show year-on-year consumer price increases in Chile and Brazil holding near May’s levels while Mexico’s probably pushed just over 3% -- still well within the central bank’s target range.

a screenshot of a video game: Unwelcome Disinflation © Bloomberg Unwelcome Disinflation

What Bloomberg’s Economists Say:

“After two consecutive months of deflation, Brazil inflation is expected to have risen slightly in June, driven mostly by recovering gasoline prices. Elsewhere, prices remains muted: core inflation readings are threading close to zero and inflation expectations remain well below the target for this year and the next, leaving plenty of room for interest rates to remain exceptionally low.”

--Adriana Dupita, senior economist

Elsewhere, Malaysia and Mauritius may cut interest rates, while central banks in Israel, Australia and Peru are predicted to hold.

Click here for what happened last week and below is our wrap of what else is coming up in the world economy.

U.S. and Canada

It’s a relatively light week for U.S. data with most eyes focusing on Thursday’s jobless claims data to see if a rush for unemployment benefits remains underway. That follows the JOLTS report on Tuesday which is expected to show the number of unemployed exceeding job openings, highlighting the severeness of the labor market slack. Friday sees the release of producer prices numbers which are set to show factory-gate costs remain weak.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits seen above 1 million for yet another week © Bloomberg Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits seen above 1 million for yet another week

Canada’s government will release its first estimate of this year’s budget deficit on Wednesday. That’s two day before the country is expected to report another half million workers found jobs last month as pandemic-related restrictions are gradually lifted, a second straight gain that will still leave the unemployment rate at near record highs.

For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for the U.S.

Europe, Middle East and Africa

U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil an economic update to Parliament on Wednesday, a week after a speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under criticism for failing to deliver a meaningful stimulus package. For businesses and investors alike, the key will be what the finance chief can promise in the short term to save jobs.

May industrial production figures for countries including Germany, Spain and France could confirm European Central Bank policy makers’ recent comments that the euro-area recession may be bottoming out.

a screenshot of a cell phone: One Out of Five © Bloomberg One Out of Five

The African Development Bank will probably make significant cuts to its growth forecasts when it releases a supplement to its January outlook on Tuesday: of sub-Saharan Africa’s five largest economies, only one, Ethiopia, is projected by the IMF to expand this year.

The Bank of Israel will probably hold its main interest rate at 0.1% on Monday, although one of the six members of the monetary policy committee voted at the last meeting for a cut to zero, saying it’d be more appropriate given the magnitude of the Covid-19 crisis.

a close up of a logo: Central Bank Rate Decisions This Week © Bloomberg Central Bank Rate Decisions This Week

The Mauritian central bank could ease policy further on Wednesday, while Serbia is expected to keep borrowing costs unchanged Thursday. Romania may hold another surprise board meeting to ease monetary policy in a bid to support the economy.

For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for EMEA

Asia

Australia’s central bank will meet Tuesday with its yield curve control policy in cruise control for now. Malaysia’s central bank meets that afternoon, with most economists seeing a rate cut, according to initial survey results.

Consumer price inflation was likely steady in June © Bloomberg Consumer price inflation was likely steady in June

China CPI and PPI data will be scrutinized on Thursday to gauge the health of domestic demand and to see whether the nation’s factories are regaining any pricing power.

For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Asia

Latin America

Peru’s central bank will keep its key rate at 0.25% on Thursday. That’s the same day Mexico posts the minutes of its June 25 meeting and may offer forward guidance on where board members see the lower bound and hence room for policy maneuver.

a screenshot of a cell phone: The central bank is likely to hold its benchmark rate at 0.25% © Bloomberg The central bank is likely to hold its benchmark rate at 0.25%

In Argentina, the debt renegotiation between the government and its main bondholders approaches its third month of official talks without an agreement in sight. The week may bring additional attempts to bridge a gap that until now has been hard to close.

For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Latin America

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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