Global Economy Week Ahead: U.K. Inflation; Fed, ECB and Bank of Mexico Rate Decisions

By WSJ StaffFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

This week, central banks around the world will make their final monetary policy decisions of 2017, while a round of economic readings could help shape their outlooks going into 2018.

TUESDAY: The Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting. Officials have signaled they are likely to vote to raise their benchmark short-term interest rate by a quarter percentage point at the meeting. Fed officials have been cheery about the U.S. economy and job creation that could push up inflation over time, in turn bolstering the case for further rate rises in 2018.

Continue Reading Below

The U.K. statistics office publishes figures on consumer inflation in November. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expect annual price growth to come in at 3%, unchanged from October's reading, but still significantly above the Bank of England's 2% target. The BOE last month raised its benchmark interest rate to 0.5%, from an all-time low of 0.25%, in an attempt to get inflation under control.

WEDNESDAY: The U.S. Labor Department releases inflation numbers for November, the same day the Fed's policy meeting wraps up. The consumer-price index's soft trend persisted in October, but so-called core prices that exclude the volatile food and energy categories rose 1.8% from a year earlier, the strongest annual gain since April.

THURSDAY: IHS Markit's composite purchasing managers index is expected to point to a strong end to the year for the eurozone. The consensus forecast is for a slight drop in the measure to 57.3 in December, from 57.5 in November, but that would still make the fourth quarter one of the strongest three-month periods since the recovery began in mid-2013. A few hours later, the European Central Bank is expected to leave its policies unchanged, but its economists are expected to raise their growth forecasts once again, a sign that 2018 may see the end of the ECB's bond-buying program launched in early 2015.

The Bank of England also releases a policy statement Thursday. When raising rates last month, the central bank indicated further tightening would be gradual and limited, indicating just two more quarter-point increases by the end of 2020.

The Bank of Mexico releases a policy statement, with Gov. Alejandro Díaz de León newly at the helm. Mexico's consumer-price inflation hit a 16-year high at 6.66% in August, though price increases slowed in September and early October. Most analysts expect the bank's next move to be a rate cut around August next year. Mr. Díaz de León recently said all options are on the table, but uncertainty makes giving interest-rate guidance risky.

FRIDAY: The Bank of Russia releases a policy statement, after cutting its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage point at its last meeting in late October. The Russian economy is gradually recovering from a recession brought on by a one-two punch of Western sanctions and declining global prices for oil, the country's primary export.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 10, 2017 15:14 ET (20:14 GMT)