The week ahead – Week commencing the 15th of April

China’s first-quarter GDP data are out on Wednesday. Beijing has lowered its 2019 growth target to a range of 6 to 6.5 per cent, down from a hard target of 6.5 per cent over the past two years. Economists expect 6.3 per cent this time, but this quarter is likely to be the low point and recent policy easing is likely to point to a more sustainable growth recovery.

On the UK economic front we have the triumvirate of data formed by employment numbers, CPI and retail sales, along with flash PMIs from the Eurozone and the US. US and UK markets are closed at the end of the week for Good Friday. In the UK, labour market numbers are out on Tuesday.

Economists expect a slight pick-up in the rate of earnings growth for the three months to February. Inflation rose to 1.9 per cent in February thanks to higher food prices. Inflation for March is forecast to hit 2 per cent when figures are released on Wednesday.

Retail sales performed strongly in the first two of months of 2019, despite the volatile political backdrop. It is unlikely they grew as strongly in March, partly due to the difficulties of seasonally adjusting the figures for Easter.

The economic calendar in the US is similarly busy, including manufacturing output on Tuesday, international trade data on Wednesday, weekly jobless claims and retail sales data on Thursday and housing start numbers on Friday. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book is also out.