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The Week Ahead: Two Central Banks In Focus

The deadline for talks between the US and China has come and gone. It is now up to the White House to decide whether to slap tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports into America. The US Trade Representative has reportedly collected 5,914 individual comments on the proposed tariffs. Someone will have to sift through the pile of paperwork.

We are inching ever closer to the Fed’s September interest-rate decision. Before that, though, the August inflation numbers could sway the rate-setting committee’s decision. But since the headline Consumer Prices Index is expected have risen at 2.8%, another rate hike this month looks very likely.

China has inflation numbers too. It is expected to show that the cost of living edged up from 2.1% in July to 2.2% in August. Elsewhere, Chinese retail sales growth could have slipped to 8.5% in August from 8.8% a month earlier, which could be another headache for the lifetime president..

The European Central Bank will announce its latest interest-rate decision. It has left the benchmark refinancing rate unchanged since March 2016. It is expected to sit on its hands again. The bank is not expected to raise rates until after the summer of 2019. That’s a long time to be sitting on your hands.

Staying with central banks, the Bank of England could leave base rates unchanged this time, after it raise them by 0.25% last month. In August, the bank said that the labour market had continued to tighten, and wage growth had firmed.

And finally, Singapore will report year-on-year retail sales for July. Growth could have accelerated from 2% in June to 3.1%. In June, there was a rebound in sales of recreational goods, motor vehicles and convenience stores.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.