Economic Calendar: February 2024

Business finance
Euan Robb

For better or for worse, major political and economic events will affect currency and exchange rates. Recent events ranging from rising costs and the crisis in the Middle East to longstanding issues due to Brexit and the aftermath of Covid cause rates to become volatile and currency to fluctuate. These fluctuations can cut into a business’ profit with unfavourable exchange rates leading to losses.

You can’t control what happens in the market - but you can control how you manage volatility and take care of your company. One of the things you can do is look ahead to key dates in the economic calendar to try to predict changes.

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February 2024 economic calendar:

These are the major dates to look out for during the month of February 2024 that might affect any international payments:

01/02/24

- Final Manufacturing PMI (EUR, GBP, USD)

- Core CPI & CPI Flash Estimate y/y (EUR)

- Interest Rate Decision (GBP)

- Unemployment Claims (USD)

- ISM Manufacturing PMI & ISM Manufacturing Prices (USD)

02/02/24

- Average Hourly Earnings m/m (USD)

- Non-Farm Employment Change (USD)

- Unemployment Rate (USD)

- Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment (USD)

05/02/24

- Final Services PMI (EUR, GBP, USD)

- ISM Services PMI (USD)

06/02/24

- Bank Holiday (NZD)

- Interest Rate Decision (AUD)

- Construction PMI (GBP)

07/02/24

- Monetary Policy Report Hearings (GBP)

- 10-y Bond Auction (USD)

08/02/24

- Unemployment Claims (USD)

- 30-y Bond Auction (USD)

12/02/24

- Bank Holiday (JPY, CNY)

13/02/24

- Bank Holiday (CNY)

- Claimant Count Change (GBP)

- Average Earnings Index 3m/y (GBP)

- Unemployment Rate (GBP)

- Core CPI & CPI m/m (USD)

- CPI y/y (USD)

14/02/24

- Bank Holiday (CNY)

- Core CPI & CPI y/y (GBP)

15/02/24

- Bank Holiday (CNY)

- GDP m/m (GBP)

- Prelim GDP q/q (GBP)

- Core Retail & Retail Sales m/m (USD)

- Empire State Manufacturing Index (USD)

- Unemployment Claims (USD)

- Philly Fed Manufacturing Index (USD)

- Industrial Production m/m (USD)

16/02/24

- Bank Holiday (CNY)

- Retail Sales m/m (GBP)

- Core PPI & PPI m/m (USD)

- Building Permits (USD)

- Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment (USD)

- Prelim UoM Inflation Expectations (USD)

19/02/24

- Bank Holiday (CAD, USD)

20/02/24

- ZEW Economic Statement (EUR)

- German ZEW Economic Statement (EUR)

21/02/24

- German ifo Business Climate (EUR)

- FOMC Meeting Minutes (USD)

22/02/24

- French & German Flash Manufacturing PMI (EUR)

- French & German Flash Services PMI (EUR)

- Flash Manufacturing PMI (EUR, GBP, USD)

- Flash Services PMI (EUR, GBP, USD)

- Unemployment Claims (USD)

- Existing Home Sales (USD)

23/02/24

- Bank Holiday (JPY)

26/02/24

- New Home Sales (USD)

27/02/24

- Core Durable & Durable Goods Orders m/m (USD)

- S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI y/y (USD)

- CB Consumer Confidence (USD)

- Richmond Manufacturing Index (USD)

28/02/24

- Interest Rate Decision (NZD)

- Prelim GDP q/q (USD)

- Prelim GDP Price Index q/q (USD)

29/02/24

- German Prelim CPI m/m (EUR)

- Core PCE Price Index m/m (USD)

- Unemployment Claims (USD)

- Chicago PMI (USD)

- Pending Home Sales m/m (USD)

What do these dates mean?

Any of these dates in the calendar can affect the market, either positively or negatively. These effects will all be different, and it’s impossible to predict how exactly foreign exchange will react. However, what’s for certain is that any kind of major political or economic events, regardless of outcome, can have knock-on effects on currency and lead to rate volatility.

The change of exchange rate between a common currency pair within a short period of time, such as movements between the pound and the dollar, is what’s known as rate volatility.

You can read more about rate volatility and how these changes can affect your business here.

Volatile currency and your business

If you’re a UK-based business, you might not think you need to worry about foreign exchange. More importantly, you might not have the time or resource to pay attention to the markets. However, even if you don’t export your products, if you operate within a globally competitive industry, changes in exchange rates can still affect operating profits. Additionally, a number of products you use might be priced in another currency - for example, many digital services are priced in dollars. With the cost of living where it is today, you can't afford to be losing out due to volatile exchange rates.

You can read more about how the rising cost of living is affecting your business here.

Hedging solutions and how we can help

At Equals Money, we offer a number of tools to help your business manage challenges around currency fluctuations associated with major world events. Not only do you get a dedicated account manager who will monitor the markets for you and alert you to any movement in your chosen currency pairings, but you’ll also have access to a range of hedging options to combat an unstable market.

For instance, a method of hedging we offer is what’s called a forward contract.Simply put, a forward contract allows your business to fix an exchange rate for a future overseas payment. You can lock in an exchange rate for typically up to 24 months, and the fixed rate is protected from any future currency movements in the market. This means you know exactly the exchange rate you’re getting for a set time, which helps you predict cash flow and forward planning and budgeting.

You can read more about forward contracts here.

Conclusion

The current political and economic climate is unstable, and instability only makes it more difficult to stay on top of your business finances.

By looking ahead to key dates and letting Equals Money help you manage the risk associated with foreign trade, you can let us think about what's happening in the outside world and your business can focus on business.

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*Equals Money can only offer forward contracts to facilitate payments for goods and services.

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