Summary of the most interesting economic events from the trading week 31. January-6 February 2022

Here is the first February summary of the most interesting economic events that took place at the turn of the month.

Markets focused primarily on the euro area and UK interest rate announcements last week, which brought with them increased volatility.


The first half of the week brought new data on GDP change in the euro area. Compared to the worse result of the quarter-on-quarter GDP (current: 0.3%, previous: 2.2%), the annual change in GDP brought a positive rebound (current: 4.6%, previous: 3.9%). Later, data were released on the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which measures the level of purchasing managers' activity in the manufacturing sector (current: 58.7, previous: 58). On a more positive note, the change in unemployment in the euro area was also down, at 0.1% lower than in January and thus maintaining its downward trend.

The main event of the week was the announcement of the change in interest rates in the euro area. The European Central Bank (ECB) left interest rates unchanged as expected. The ECB has done so for several times in a row and they have remained at zero since 2016. Rates are expected to remain at their current level until inflation reaches 2%.

ECB President Christine Lagarde was more hawkish on her statement this time and the euro posted a decent gain. It raised expectations that something could be decided on monetary policy in March because of the inflation surprises. It also backed off a bit by not raising any rates in 2022.

The full statement can be found here:


Like the Euro, the British Pound has had a somewhat more volatile week.

Throughout the week, there was generally positive news regarding the change in purchasing managers' indices (PMIs), which slightly strengthened the pound.

Composite PMI: current: 54.2, previous: 53.6

Services PMI: current: 54.1, previous: 53.6

Construction PMI: current: 56.3, previous: 54.3.

Like the euro, volatility on the pound came on Thursday, where the Bank of England raised rates by 25 basis points from 0.25% to 0.50%. This fact that the BOE raised its rates for the second time contributed to a very rapid rise in the pound and there was no need for Bailey to be more hawkish at his conference.

BOE Governor Andrew Bailey said at his press conference that the rate hike is a necessary step to bring inflation back to target. It is necessary to keep rate increases in perspective. UK rates are still very low by historical standards.

The full statement can be found here:


Like the Euro and the Pound, the Australian currency had a fairly lively week, which was again marked by interest rates. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left rates unchanged at 0.10% on Tuesday, as expected. However, the AUD price was pushed up in the short term by the mention of ending QE (quantitative easing) and the expected rise in wages. A day later, at his conference, Philip Lowe said that the RBA does not need to keep up with others and is prepared to be patient. Whether rates will rise this year remains to be seen.

The full statement can be found here:

What's in store for the current trading week?

Next week we will focus our attention mainly on the incoming UK GDP data and the publication of the Fed's report on US monetary policy, which may increase volatility on the USD on Wednesday.


Pictured: Christine Lagarde - President of the European Central Bank

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