With U.S. markets closed Monday for Labor Day, it’s a short week. But mark your calendar for Friday. That’s the big day this week, when Federal Reserve policymakers will get their last pieces of information about the U.S. labor market before their all-important September meeting. The employment report could be the determining factor in whether the Fed begins tapering its quantitative-easing program this month.
In the U.S. employment report for August, economists look for nonfarm payrolls to expand by 175,000, private payrolls to rise by 177,000, and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.4 percent after declining two-tenths of a percentage point in July.
Other U.S. indicators this week include the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index and trade balance for August. In addition, a number of Fed speakers are “on the tape” this week.
In Europe, the European Central Bank is expected to leave its interest rates and forward guidance unchanged at the Sept. 5 Governing Council meeting. According to Barclays, the latest quarterly ECB growth and inflation outlook for the euro zone due next week could feature slight upward revisions for the 2013 growth and inflation figures.
The final second-quarter gross domestic product release for the euro zone will likely confirm flash estimate data, rising by 0.3 percent during the April-June period (after falling by 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year).
In the U.K., the Bank of England is also likely to keep its policy on hold with the bank rate at 0.5 percent and asset purchases at £375 billion ($584 billion) at the September meeting.
The key event of the coming week in Japan will be the Bank of Japan Policy Board meeting, which concludes Sept. 5. The generally positive tone of the latest economic data means that there's little pressure for further monetary stimulus now.
“Nonetheless, we continue to expect additional monetary easing to be announced no later than the first quarter of next year, partly to offset the substantial fiscal tightening in the pipeline if the government presses ahead with the planned consumption tax hikes,” Marcel Thieliant, Japan economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.
In China, a slew of August data is due over the weekend, including consumer price index, producer price index, new loans, retail sales, urban investment and trade.
Below are entries on the economic calendar Sept. 2-6. All listed times are EDT.
U.S. government offices and markets are closed for the Labor Day holiday.
Germany -- Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble briefs the budgetary committee on the European Union/International Monetary Fund aid program for Greece.
Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure speaks at “The ECB and Its OMT Program” conference in Berlin.
Netherlands -- Central Bank Governor Klaas Knot speaks in Groningen, Netherlands on the importance of a central bank doing research.
Euro zone -- Final manufacturing PMI index for August.
8:58 a.m. -- August Markit Manufacturing PMI, final reading.
10 a.m. -- The recent weakness in domestic activity may have pulled down the ISM manufacturing index to 54.5 in August, after surging to 55.4 in July. This would leave the three-month average at 53.6, its highest level since 2011. The new orders index in the prior month jumped to a 27-month high. However, both the Empire manufacturing survey and the Philly Fed fell in August, suggesting that manufacturing activity slowed in August.
10 a.m. -- Economists are looking for construction spending to increase by 0.3 percent in July, partly reversing the 0.6 percent drop in June.
Australia -- RBA cash rate.
Euro zone -- July PPI.
TBA -- Analysts forecast vehicle sales to total 15.8 million in August, slightly up from 15.7 million in July.
7 a.m. -- The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Mortgage Index for the week ended Aug. 30.
7:30 a.m. -- Challenger layoffs for August.
8:30 a.m. -- The trade deficit probably widened to $38.2 billion in July from $34.2 billion, largely reversing the narrowing recorded in June. The recent surge in crude oil prices also probably drove up the cost of imported energy.
11:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams (FOMC non-voter) speaks on the economy and monetary policy before a group of community leaders in Oregon.
2 p.m. -- Fed Beige Book report released.
8 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (FOMC non-voter) speaks at a town hall forum at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Great Hall, Cleary Alumni Center, La Crosse.
Poland -- Repo rate.
Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen speaks on “Banks in Transition" in Frankfurt.
Canada -- Interest rate announcement.
Euro zone -- Final Q2 GDP.
8:15 a.m. -- ADP private payrolls growth should fall in August to 187,000, down from 200,000 in July. While ADP employment has been around 200,000 the past two months, growth has averaged 169,000 over the past 6 months. Thus, economists expect some mean reversion this month.
8:30 a.m. -- With the upward revisions to second-quarter GDP growth, economists look for the final revision to second-quarter nonfarm productivity to be revised higher as well. Stronger growth in nonfarm business output probably pushed productivity up to 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, from 0.9 percent previously. By construction, higher productivity growth implies slower growth in unit labor costs. Second-quarter unit labor cost likely dipped to 1.1 percent from 1.4 percent in the first quarter.
8:30 a.m. -- Jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 31 should come in at 330,000, slightly lower than the 331,000 print in the prior week.
9 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (FOMC non-voter) speaks at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Great Hall, Valhalla Room, Cartright Student Center, La Crosse.
10 a.m. -- Economists look for a print of 55.2 in the August nonmanufacturing ISM. While a modest decline from the 56.0 reading in July, it would leave the index above its three-month moving average of 54.0, as well as the second-quarter average of 53.0.
10 a.m. -- Factory orders likely declined by 1.5 percent in July, following a 1.5 percent increase in the prior month.
G-20 -- G-20 Meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia (to Sept. 6).
Japan -- BoJ target rate.
Sweden -- Interest rates announcement.
Malaysia -- Overnight rate.
U.K. -- BoE bank rate decision and asset purchase decision.
Euro zone -- ECB interest rate announcement and press conference.
Germany -- July factory orders.
8 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans (FOMC voter) speaks before the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank 2013 Summit in South Carolina.
8:30 a.m. -- A rebound in jobs growth and a flat unemployment rate should reinforce expectations that the Fed will begin tapering QE3 in September. Economists are looking for a 175,000 gain in August nonfarm payrolls, reversing the dip to 162,000 in July from 188,000 in June. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 7.4 percent after declining two-tenths in July. Average hourly earnings probably increased by 0.2 percent in August and average weekly hours likely remained unchanged at 34.4 hours.
1:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George (FOMC voter) speaks on “The Federal Reserve and the Economy" at a business leaders meeting in Nebraska.
Mexico -- Overnight rate.
Germany -- July industrial production.
Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Capital Economics, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.