The Week Ahead: The Next US Rate Rise

The latest minutes of the Federal Reserve interest-rate meeting should make for good reading. At the August get-together the policy makers said that the labour market had continued to strengthen, and that economic activity had been rising at a strong rate. So, the minutes might provide some indication as to whether the rate hike in September is likely. The market thinks there is a 96% chance that it will happen.

Japan will report inflation numbers for July. The headline inflation number is expected to come in at 1.2%. In June, the rate of inflation was 0.7%, which was unchanged from the previous month. However, core inflation, which excludes fresh food, rose at the fastest rate since March. It was 0.8%.

Malaysia will report inflation numbers too. In June, the rate of inflation eased to 0.8%. But they are expected to have jumped to 1.2% in July. Elsewhere, Hong Kong is expected to say that the rate of inflation rose to 2.5% in July. In June, inflation rose to its highest rate since March because of costlier private-housing rentals and pricier salt-water fish.

Thailand will report its economic growth rate for the second quarter. In the first three months of the year, Thailand’s economy grew by 4.8% year on year, which was faster than expected. It was also the fastest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2013, thanks to government spending, investments and consumer spending.

And finally, Singapore is expected to say that the headline rate of inflation slowed from 0.6% in June to 0.5% in July. However, core inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport could be 1.6%, which would be higher than the long-term average of 1.4%.

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