Economic Indicators to Watch This Week: Inflation, Retail Sales, and Employment

Data from the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) have been signalling weakening in the economy in recent quarters, with intensifying tightening of lending standards and declines in demand across various loan types. The latest SLOOS survey revealed widespread demand deterioration and tighter credit standards across all loan types in the last three months of 2022, emblematic of the broader effects of restrictive monetary policy starting to take hold. Forecasts for the consumer price index (CPI) suggest a 0.5% increase in January, with the related year-ago rate easing from 6.5% in December to 6.4%. In addition, Disney (DIS) recently announced 7,000 job cuts and $5.5 billion in cost cutting, with newly reappointed CEO Bob Iger set on turning a profit on their streaming services.[0]

The upcoming week will feature an array of economic indicators, such as inflation, retail sales, and industrial production, that will be crucial for the Federal Reserve in deciding the rate hike in March and May.[1] Headline CPI is expected to edge lower on a near-4% fall in petrol/diesel prices in January, while core inflation should ease less dramatically.[1] I forecast that core CPI rose 0.5% in January, with this 0.46% monthly change close to rounding down to 0.4%. Jobs and wages have also been a focus, with quarter-on-quarter annualised changes in weekly regular pay eclipsing 7%.[1] The Bank of England Decision Maker survey has hinted wage growth might have peaked, though we’ll await the official data to be sure.[1] The strong employment numbers in January imply robust demand, though this isn’t necessarily the start of a new upward trend given business confidence is still low.[1] Retail sales are likely to experience a modest fall in January, but this should be offset by the auto sales, which were very strong. Energy prices and used car prices, which account for a large portion of the CPI, could potentially add 0.15pp to the MoM rate on its own. All these indicators will be closely watched by the market this week.

0. “Week Ahead: Inflation Data, Interest Rates, and Time to Buy Shopify Breakout?” Yahoo! Voices, 13 Feb. 2023,

1. “Key Events In Developed Markets Next Week” MENAFN.COM, 10 Feb. 2023,