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Week Ahead – US inflation key, ECB ponders rate pause, UK labor market data

US This week is all about the US CPI report and retail sales data. If the US demand for goods didn’t weaken that much and if inflation heated up, rate…




This week is all about the US CPI report and retail sales data. If the US demand for goods didn’t weaken that much and if inflation heated up, rate hike expectations for the November meeting might become the consensus.  The inflation report might not be as clear as headline inflation will obviously rise given the surge in gasoline prices, but core might deliver another subdued reading.  Moderation with consumer spending will be the theme as Americans deal with higher energy prices, rising debt levels, and as confidence softens.  

Investors will also pay close attention to the University of Michigan’s inflation expectations on Friday. The 1-year outlook for prices may drop from the 3.5% August reading.  Fed speak will be nonexistent as the blackout period begins for the September 20th policy meeting.  


The European Central Bank meets next week and it’s not clear at this stage what decision they will come to. Refinitiv is pricing in around a 65% chance of a hold, which may signal the end of the tightening cycle – not that the ECB would in any way suggest that at this stage – but expectations do differ. There’s every chance the committee will push through one more, at which point the data is expected to improve regardless making a Fed-style exit all the more difficult. Ultimately, it will likely come down to the projections which will be released alongside the decision. ZEW surveys aside, on Tuesday, the rest of the week is made up of tier-three data.


Potentially a big week for the UK ahead of the next monetary policy meeting on 21 September. Andrew Bailey and his colleagues this past week hinted that the decision is in the balance and not the foregone conclusion many expect. Markets are pricing in a more than 70% chance of a hike and more than 50% of another after that by February. If what they said is true, then the labor market report on Tuesday could be hugely significant as further slack could give those on the fence the reassurances they need that past measures, among other things, are working and more may not be needed. Huw Pill also speaks on Monday while Catherine Mann will make an appearance in Canada on Tuesday. GDP on Wednesday could also be interesting, with the rest of the week made up of less influential releases.


The CBR is expected to leave the key rate unchanged at 12% on Friday. It hiked very aggressively at the last meeting – from 8.5% – so there is scope for another surprise, with inflation having risen again last month to 5.1%. The rouble has also been in steady decline after rebounding following the last announcement, to trade not far from its recent lows against the dollar. 

South Africa

A relatively quiet week ahead, with manufacturing figures due on Monday and retail sales on Wednesday.


The CBRT is desperately trying to get inflation under control again with successive large interest rate hikes. In response the currency has stopped making new lows but it has drifted lower again over the last couple of weeks since the surprisingly large last hike. It’s sitting not far from the pre-meeting lows now and inflation data this past week won’t have helped, rising to 58.94% annually. More rate hikes are likely on the way. Next week the focus is on unemployment and industrial production figures on Monday.


A very quiet week to come, with PPI inflation the only economic release. We’ve been seeing some deflation in recent months in the PPI data which will be giving the SNB some comfort that price pressures are back under control. Another rate hike is no longer viewed as guaranteed, with markets slightly favoring a hold over the coming meetings but it is tight. 


The much sought-after consumer and producers’ price inflation data for August will be released this Saturday where market participants will have a better gauge of the current deflationary conditions in China.

After a slight improvement in the two sub-components of August’s NBS Manufacturing PM where new orders and production rose to their highest level since March at 50.2 and 51.9 respectively coupled with an improvement in export growth for August that shrunk to a lesser magnitude of -8.8% y/y from -14.5% y/y in July, there are some signs of optimism that the recent eight months of deflationary pressures may have started to abate.

The August CPI is expected to inch back up to 0.2% y/y from -0.3% y/y in July and the PPI is forecast to shrink at a lesser magnitude of -3% y/y in August versus -4.4% in July. If the PPI turns out as expected, it will be the second consecutive month of improvement from a persistent loop of deflationary pressure in factory gate prices since November 2022.

Other key data to focus on will be new yuan loans and M2 money supply for August which will be released on Monday. It will provide a sense of whether China’s economy is slipping into a liquidity trap despite the current targeted monetary and fiscal stimulus measures enacted by policymakers.

Lastly, the housing price index, industrial production, retail sales, and the unemployment rate for August will be released on Friday with both retail sales and industrial production expected to show slight improvement; 2.8% y/y for retail sales over 2.5% y/y recorded in July, 4% y/y for industrial production versus 3.7% in July.

Market participants will be keeping a close eye on youth unemployment for August after July’s figure was temporarily suspended by the National Bureau of Statistics without any clear timeline for the suspension. The youth joblessness data in China is of key concern after the youth unemployment rate skyrocketed to a record high of 21.3% in June, around four times more than the national unemployment rate of 5.3%.

Lastly, China’s central bank, the PBoC, will announce its decision on a key benchmark interest rate, the 1-year medium-term lending facility rate on Friday and the expectation is no change at 2.50% after a prior cut of 15 basis points. 


Inflation and balance of trade for August will be the focus for the coming week. Inflation data is released on Tuesday and is expected to dip slightly to 7% y/y from 7.44% in July, the highest since April 2022.

Balance of trade will be released on Friday and the expectation is for the deficit to widen slightly to -$21 billion from -$20.67 billion in July.  


On Monday, the Westpac consumer confidence change for September is expected to improve to 0.6% m/m from a reading of -0.4% m/m in August, following three consecutive interest rate pauses from RBA.

The key employment change data for August will be released on Thursday with 24,300 jobs expected to be created, an improvement on the 14,600 reduction in July. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to slip to 3.6% from 3.7% in July.

New Zealand

Electronic retail card spending for August is due on Tuesday and is forecast to dip to 1.4% y/y from 2.2% in July. That would represent a declining trend in growth in the past five months.

Next up, food inflation for August will be released on Wednesday; its growth rate is expected to slow to 7.8% y/y from 9.6% in July. That would be the slowest growth in food inflation since June 2022.


A couple of key data points to note for the coming week. Firstly, the Reuters Tankan Index on manufacturers’ sentiment on Wednesday; after a big jump to +12 in August – its highest level recorded so far this year – sentiment is expected to taper off slightly to +10 for September.

Producers’ price index for August will be released on Wednesday and a slight dip is expected to 3.2% y/y from 3.6% in July.

Lastly, on Thursday, we will have data on machinery orders from July with the consensus expecting a further decline of 10.7% y/y from -5.8% in June.


One key data to focus on is the balance of trade for August which will be out on Friday. The trade surplus is being expected to increase slightly to $7 billion from $6.49 billion in July. That would be the fourth consecutive month of expansion in the trade surplus.

Economic Calendar

Saturday, Sept. 9

Economic Data/Events

China CPI, PPI

G-20 summit in New Delhi: President Biden, UK PM Sunak and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plan to attend

Sunday, Sept. 10

Economic Events

Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet with Russian President Putin

Russia holds regional elections, including in four occupied regions of Ukraine

Monday, Sept. 11

Economic Data/Events

China aggregate financing

Italy industrial production

Japan M2 money stock

Mexico industrial production

South Africa manufacturing production

Turkey current account, industrial production

The EU releases an updated economic forecast  

BOE chief economist Pill is a panelist at the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce event

BOE’s Mann speaks at Canadian Association for Business economics conference

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Adeyemo addresses The Economic Club of New York

Creditors of China’s Country Garden finish voting on requests to extend more bonds

Thailand PM Thavisin to unveil economic measures at joint session of parliament

Tuesday, Sept. 12

Economic Data/Events

Australia consumer confidence

Germany ZEW survey

India industrial production, CPI

Mexico international reserves

Spain CPI

UK jobless claims, unemployment

Apple unveils iPhone 15 line and next-generation smartwatches at “Wonderlust”

New Zealand’s Treasury releases pre-election economic and fiscal update

Wednesday, Sept. 13

Economic Data/Events

US August CPI M/M: 0.5%e v 0.2% prior; Y/Y: 3.6%e v 3.2% prior

Eurozone industrial production

India trade

Japan PPI

New Zealand food prices

UK industrial production

European Commission President von der Leyen delivers State of the EU speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Tech leaders including Tesla’s Elon Musk and Meta Platforms’ Mark Zuckerberg attend a forum on the future of AI convened by Senator Chuck Schumer

Thursday, Sept. 14

Economic Data/Events

US retail sales, PPI, business inventories, initial jobless claims

Australia unemployment

Eurozone ECB rate decision: Expected to deliver one last rate hike, bringing main refinancing rate to 4.50% and the deposit rate to 4.00%

India wholesale prices

Japan machinery orders, industrial production

United Auto Workers union contract talks reach a pivotal moment that could shut down a major section of the US economy

German Foreign Minister Baerbock to meet with US Secretary of State Blinken in DC

Italian PM Meloni to attend Budapest Demographic Summit

Friday, Sept. 15

Economic Data/Events

US industrial production, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Empire manufacturing index

Canada existing home sales

China property prices, retail sales, industrial production

France CPI

Italy trade, CPI

Japan tertiary index

New Zealand PMI

Poland CPI

Russia rate decision

Chinese financial institutions set to reduce foreign exchange deposits held in reserve

Informal meeting of EU finance ministers in Spain

Sovereign Rating Updates

Germany (Fitch)

Belgium (S&P)

Saudi Arabia (S&P)

Spain (S&P)

Greece (Moody’s)

Netherlands (DBRS)


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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…



To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….



Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 


About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. 

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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.



Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 


This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

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With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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