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Week ahead: Markets to focus on rate statements from SNB, BOE, ECB, and the Fed

December 11, 2023

This week, the market’s primary focus revolves around the rate decisions of major central banks as they convene for their final meetings in 2023. Aside from these pivotal central bank decisions, the market is also keeping a close eye on the US consumer price index and producer price index, given that signs of inflation could influence the Fed’s policies during this period.

As always, traders are advised to exercise caution as we approach these upcoming market highlights for the week:

US consumer price index (12 December 2023)

Consumer prices in the US remained unchanged in October after a 0.4% increase in September.

Analysts expect no changes in the updated consumer price index for November, set to be released on 12 December.

UK monthly gross domestic product (13 December 2023)

The UK’s monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.2% month-over-month in September 2023, following a 0.1% growth in August.

Updated figures are set to be released on 13 December, with analysts expecting the UK’s GDP to contract by 0.1%.

US producer price index (13 December 2023)

Producer prices in the US fell by 0.5% month-over-month in October 2023, marking the most significant decline since April 2020.

Analysts are forecasting an increase of 0.1% in the updated producer price index for the US, set to be released on 13 December.

The Fed’s interest rate decision (14 December 2023)

For the second consecutive time in November, the Federal Reserve maintained the federal funds rate at its 22-year high of 5.5%, a reflection of policymakers’ commitment to balancing the goal of reaching a 2% inflation target while avoiding excessive monetary tightening.

The next rate statement is slated for release on 14 December, with analysts expecting the rate to stay steady at 5.5%.

Swiss National Bank’s interest rate decision (14 December 2023)

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) unexpectedly opted to maintain its benchmark policy rate at 1.75% during its September 2023 meeting. This decision marks a temporary halt in the rate-hike campaign initiated in June of the previous year.

No change is expected in the SNB’s forthcoming rate statement, slated for release on 14 December.

Bank of England’s interest rate decision (14 December 2023)

During its November meeting, the Bank of England held firm on its benchmark interest rate, keeping it steady at a 15-year high of 5.25% for the second consecutive time. This decision comes as a response to recent indications of a slowdown in the UK’s economy coupled with the persistent challenge posed by elevated inflation.

The next rate statement is expected to be released on 14 December, with analysts expecting the rate to be maintained at 5.25%

European Central Bank’s interest rate decision (14 December 2023)

The European Central Bank (ECB) maintained its interest rates at 4.5% in October, signalling a notable departure from its 15-month trend of consecutive rate hikes. This decision underscores a shift towards a more cautious approach among policymakers, influenced by easing price pressures and apprehensions regarding an impending recession.

No change is expected in the ECB’s forthcoming rate statement, slated for release on 14 December.

US retail sales (14 December 2023)

After a 6-month stretch of growth, retail sales in the US declined by 0.1% month-over-month in October 2023.

Analysts expect another 0.1% decrease in the forthcoming retail sales data for the US, scheduled to be released on 14 December.

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