Markit will publish the flash PMIs for the eurozone, the US and Japan for May. The global composite PMI fell to 52.1 in April, returning to the level it touched in January (which at the time, marked its lowest level since September 2016). The decline reflected a modest broad-based deterioration across major countries, including China. The eurozone indices remained weak: the composite PMI was little changed at 51.5 in April as a modest improvement in manufacturing was offset by weaker activity in the services sector. In addition, the US composite PMI declined to 53 in April from 54.6 in the previous month, reflecting drops in the manufacturing and services components. There is no consensus for May. However, downward pressures will probably continue amid growing trade-policy uncertainty. Elsewhere, the German Ifo Institute will release its business climate indicator for May. In the opening months of 2019, the index has shown no convincing signs of a rebound, bouncing at low levels. In April, it declined to 99.2 from 99.7 in the previous month. Meanwhile, the ECB will publish the accounts from last month’s monetary policy meeting. Although the meeting did not deliver any change in policy, the tone remained dovish amid unconvincing signs of stabilisation in economic activity in early 2019 as well as persistent downside risks. Accordingly, the tone of the discussion on the outlook in the accounts is likely to be cautious. Investors will be looking for any indication on forthcoming policy adjustments, notably the conditions of the targeted longer-term refinancing operations programme (which is due to start in September) and possible measures to mitigate the negative effect of negative rates. At the same time, European Parliamentary elections get underway across EU member states (they run until Sunday). The elections are likely to show a significant gain for populist parties. However, as populist parties are highly fragmented on most issues except the reinforcement of national sovereignty, mainstream political forces are likely to maintain a majority in Parliament. Accordingly, they are likely to influence the appointments of top European positions, i.e. European Commission President, ECB President and European Council President. Nonetheless, populists will gain enough seats in Parliament to potentially disrupt the functioning of European institutions from within, hindering an already challenging process of integration going forward. On Sunday, there will also be regional elections in Germany (Bremen) and Italy (Piedmont), carrying some relevance for domestic political dynamics. Meanwhile, in South Africa, the central bank is likely to keep the policy rate unchanged at 6.75%. At this stage, political developments carry more relevance. The ruling ANC party won the election earlier this month, taking 57% of the votes. President Cyril Ramaphosa will be inaugurated on 25 May and a new executive should be announced by 27 May. As we have previously argued, the choice of the new cabinet is crucial as it will show Ramaphosa’s resolve to reform the country and his party.