Global Economy Week Ahead: U.S. and U.K. GDP; Policy Decision From the ECB

By WSJ Staff Features Dow Jones Newswires

In the week ahead, we will see early readings on third-quarter gross domestic product in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as monetary policy decisions from the eurozone and Brazilian central banks.

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WEDNESDAY: Brazil's central bank is expected to bring its benchmark Selic rate to 7.5% on Wednesday, down from 8.25%. A sharp drop in inflation over the past year is fueling the monetary easing, with the Selic rate expected to break the historic low of 7.25% later this year. Lower borrowing costs, in turn, are feeding a wobbling economic recovery after two years of output contraction.

Amid market speculation that the Bank of England is getting close to raising interest rates for the first time in a decade, investors will pay close attention to preliminary U.K. economic growth figures for the third quarter. Analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal predict gross domestic product continued to expand at the 0.3% quarterly rate seen in the April-June period. The largely domestic-driven economy has slowed this year as consumers, squeezed by accelerating inflation, pared back spending.

THURSDAY: The European Central Bank is expected to announce the fate of its giant bond-buying program, known as quantitative easing. With the eurozone economy picking up speed, policy makers are expected to scale down the landmark stimulus program. But they are also likely to extend it deep into 2018, in an effort to bolster still-weak inflation. One key issue for investors is whether the ECB will announce a concrete end date, which would affect when interest rates might start to rise.

FRIDAY: The U.S. Commerce Department releases its advance estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product. U.S. economic output grew at a 3.1% annual rate in the second quarter, slightly stronger than previously thought and marking the best growth in two years. Friday's figure will likely be affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma in categories ranging from construction to consumer spending. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast GDP rose at a 2.7% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter.

The University of Michigan releases its final figure for U.S. consumer sentiment in October. The University of Michigan said earlier this month its preliminary reading was 101.1 in October, up from 95.1 in September. Consumer sentiment soared following the election of President Donald Trump and has remained high this year in light of a strong labor market and soaring stock prices. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect a final October consumer sentiment reading of 100.9.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 22, 2017 15:14 ET (19:14 GMT)