EMU retail sales figures will be the focus of attention today, after yesterday’s positive results from Germany offered encouragment for the rest of the continent. While figures for January are expected to show a contraction, the overall year-on-year measurement is expected to show an improvement of around 1.7%
Markets are expected to be somewhat subdued today as traders await further details on the fine print of the ECB’s QE programme. The ECB will hold a policy meeting on Thursday, where Mario Draghi will reveal more about how the measures will be rolled out over the coming months.
The central bank will also release details of its latest growth and inflation forecasts tomorrow, announcements that are likely to gear sentiment at the end of the week.
Today, composite PMI’s from across the euro area will offer an indication as to the current trajectory of manufacturing and service sectors across the single currency market. The index is expected to grow to to 53.9 from last month’s figure of 52.7. That is despite a weak prognosis in France, where the index is anticipated to contract by at least three points.
Forecasts for most countries point to a slight contraction, yet much of the data published so far this week has surpassed expectations.