The markets month ahead: December events for your trading diary

Get a preview of the month’s important market-moving events with our look ahead to December. 

Economic events to watch in December 

OPEC-JMMC meetings – Thursday December 2nd  

OPEC+’s December meetings will take on a different shape to its other monthly get-togethers. Crude oil has dipped below $70 for the first time since September. Questions are being raised over oil demand, especially with the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. With President Biden releasing oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, OPEC+ is likely to rethink its monthly production increases. 

US nonfarm payrolls – Friday December 3rd  

The US job market is in focus this Friday with the latest NFP print. Last month’s beat market expectations with 571,000 new jobs created in November. The hospitality sector led the way with 185,000 new roles. Can the momentum keep going? Jobless claims are at their lowest levels since 1969, but the US labour sector remains tight. 

Bank of Canada rate statement – Wednesday December 8th  

A fresh rate statement from the Bank of Canada is on the way. Is a rate hike getting closer? Governor Tiff Macklem has hinted as such, but one won’t be coming until Canada’s economic slack picks up. Inflation is high, but Macklem is putting all his chips in the nation’s flexible inflation target based around a 2% midpoint between 1-3%. Will it be enough to stave off inflation’s killer bite? 

US CPI data – Friday December 10th  

Speaking of inflation, we can gauge its effects on the US economy with the CPI data for November which comes this month. In the US, it’s already positively scorching. Prices rose 6.2% in October – the fastest rate seen since December 1990. Core inflation was also up 4.6%. It’s hoped inflation prints this scalding may force the Fed into action, but so far, no luck. 

US retail sales – Wednesday December 15th  

November’s retail stats are usually a good indicator of the strength of US holiday spending. Not only is Thanksgiving towards the end of the month, but also the Black Friday and Cyber Monday spendathons too. Interestingly, early projections suggest American shoppers have spent less during this year’s Black Friday event – down 28% year-on-year. This is the first time Black Friday sales have fallen. Is inflation proving too much for US consumers? 

FOMC statement – Wednesday December 15th  

Wednesday December 15th is a busy day for the US economy. The FOMC gives its final statement of 2021 today at a time when the job market is tight, and inflation is high. At the start of the month, Chair Jerome Powell stated it was time to retire the word “transitory” in relation to inflation, triggering market thoughts that a rate hike could finally be on the way. We’ll learn more about the direction of the US economy at this month’s FOMC talks. 

Bank of England rate statement – Thursday December 16th  

Hints that a UK rate hike was on coming were dropped in November, but one might not come just yet. The Omicron variant has caused jitters to economists around the world and the Bank of England’s top bods are no different. A 25-basis-point rate hike was being talked up, but it looks like Governor Bailey et al are holding fire until Omicron’s impact can really be measured. 

ECB Rate Statement – Thursday December 16th  

The big rate statements come thick and fast in mid-December. Following the Bank of England on December 16th is the European Central Bank. Unlike the Bank of England, the ECB has been pretty explicit about its rate hike plans. That is to say, one won’t be coming in December and won’t be coming in 2022 either. Christine Lagarde has warned against rushing into a “premature tightening” of ECB policy – but if inflation continues to grow across the bloc, something will have to give. 

Flash PMI data – Tuesday December 21st  

See how EU and UK are doing in terms of productivity with the final flash PMI estimates for 2021. November’s PMI numbers threw up some surprise for the EU at least. Its composite PMI index jumped from 54.2 in October to 55.8 in November. Conversely, the UK’s scores edged down month-on-month from October’s 57.8 to a November reading of 57.7. A small decline, but a decline, nonetheless.  

US Core PCE data – Thursday December 23rd  

There’s still time to squeeze in the Fed’s preferred inflation metric before markets shut down for Christmas. Much like other inflation ratings, personal consumer expenditures are up throughout the US. The latest reading showed household spending was up 4.1% year-on-year – the largest year-on-year jump since the 1990s. It’s probably we’ll round off the year with yet another hot PCE print.  

Major economic data 

Date  Time (GMT)  Asset  Event 
Wed 01-Dec  12:30am  AUD  GDP q/q 
  1:15pm  USD  ADP Non-Farm Employment Change 
  1:30pm  CAD  Building Permits m/m 
  2:00pm  GBP  BOE Gov Bailey Speaks 
  3:00pm  USD  Fed Chair Powell Testifies 
  3:00pm  USD  ISM Manufacturing PMI 
  3:00pm  USD  Treasury Sec Yellen Speaks 
  3:30pm  OIL  Crude Oil Inventories 
       
Thu 02-Dec  8:00am  EUR  Spanish Unemployment Change 
  All Day  All  OPEC-JMMC Meetings 
  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  2:00pm  USD  Treasury Sec Yellen Speaks 
  4:30pm  USD  FOMC Member Barkin Speaks 
       
Fri 03-Dec  8:30am  EUR  ECB President Lagarde Speaks 
  11:00am  GBP  MPC Member Saunders Speaks 
  1:30pm  CAD  Employment Change 
  1:30pm  CAD  Unemployment Rate 
  1:30pm  USD  Average Hourly Earnings m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Non-Farm Employment Change 
  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Rate 
  3:00pm  USD  ISM Services PMI 
  Tentative  USD  Treasury Currency Report 
       
Tue 07-Dec  Tentative  CNY  Trade Balance 
  3:30am  AUD  Cash Rate 
  3:30am  AUD  RBA Rate Statement 
  10:00am  EUR  ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  10:00am  EUR  German ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  3:00pm  CAD  Ivey PMI 
       
Wed 08-Dec  3:00pm  CAD  BOC Rate Statement 
  3:00pm  CAD  Overnight Rate 
  3:00pm  USD  JOLTS Job Openings 
  3:30pm  OIL  Crude Oil Inventories 
  Tentative  CAD  BOC Press Conference 
  6:01pm  USD  10-y Bond Auction 
       
Thu 09-Dec  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  6:01pm  USD  30-y Bond Auction 
       
Fri 10-Dec  1:30pm  USD  CPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core CPI m/m 
  3:00pm  USD  Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment 
       
Tue 14-Dec  1:30pm  USD  PPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core PPI m/m 
       
Wed 15-Dec  2:00am  CNY  Retail Sales y/y 
  7:00am  GBP  CPI y/y 
  1:30pm  CAD  CPI m/m 
  1:30pm  CAD  Common CPI y/y 
  1:30pm  CAD  Median CPI y/y 
  1:30pm  CAD  Trimmed CPI y/y 
  1:30pm  USD  Core Retail Sales m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Retail Sales m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Empire State Manufacturing Index 
  3:30pm  OIL  Crude Oil Inventories 
  7:00pm  USD  FOMC Economic Projections 
  7:00pm  USD  FOMC Statement 
  7:00pm  USD  Federal Funds Rate 
  7:30pm  USD  FOMC Press Conference 
  9:45pm  NZD  GDP q/q 
       
Thu 16-Dec  12:30am  AUD  Employment Change 
  12:30am  AUD  Unemployment Rate 
  7:00am  GBP  Retail Sales m/m 
  8:30am  CHF  SNB Monetary Policy Assessment 
  8:30am  CHF  SNB Policy Rate 
  9:00am  CHF  SNB Press Conference 
  12:00pm  GBP  Asset Purchase Facility 
  12:00pm  GBP  MPC Asset Purchase Facility Votes 
  12:00pm  GBP  MPC Official Bank Rate Votes 
  12:00pm  GBP  Monetary Policy Summary 
  12:00pm  GBP  Official Bank Rate 
  12:45pm  EUR  Main Refinancing Rate 
  12:45pm  EUR  Monetary Policy Statement 
  1:30pm  EUR  ECB Press Conference 
  1:30pm  USD  Philly Fed Manufacturing Index 
  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  2:15pm  USD  Industrial Production m/m 
  2:45pm  USD  Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    USD  Flash Services PMI 
       
Fri 17-Dec  Tentative  JPY  Monetary Policy Statement 
  Tentative  JPY  BOJ Press Conference 
  9:00am  EUR  German ifo Business Climate 
       
Tue 21-Dec  12:30am  AUD  Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes 
  8:15am  EUR  French Flash Services PMI 
  8:30am  EUR  German Flash Manufacturing PMI 
  8:30am  EUR  German Flash Services PMI 
  9:00am  EUR  Flash Manufacturing PMI 
  9:00am  EUR  Flash Services PMI 
  9:30am  GBP  Flash Manufacturing PMI 
  9:30am  GBP  Flash Services PMI 
  1:30pm  CAD  Core Retail Sales m/m 
    CAD  Retail Sales m/m 
       
Wed 22-Dec  1:30pm  USD  Final GDP q/q 
  3:30pm  OIL  Crude Oil Inventories 
       
Thu 23-Dec  1:30pm  CAD  GDP m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core PCE Price Index m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core Durable Goods Orders m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Durable Goods Orders m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  3:00pm  USD  Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment 
       
Tue 28-Dec  8:00am  CHF  KOF Economic Barometer 
  3:00pm  USD  CB Consumer Confidence 
       
Wed 29-Dec  3:00pm  USD  Pending Home Sales m/m 
  3:30pm  USD  Crude Oil Inventories 
       
Thu 30-Dec  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  2:45pm  USD  Chicago PMI 
       
Fri 31-Dec  1:00am  CNY  Manufacturing PMI