Next Week

January 22, 2010

A very busy week lies ahead.  In its center, the FOMC releases a new policy statement on Wednesday, and President Obama’s State of the Union address that evening will reveal new adjustments in his policy agenda.  At least a dozen other central banks meet during the week in Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hungary, Poland, Colombia and Israel.  The Bank of Japan will also release its monthly economic assessment and minutes from a prior meeting.

Scheduled U.S. data are anchored by the first estimate of fourth-quarter GDP and employee cost index due Friday.  The economy expanded robustly with several analysts penciling in annualized growth of more than 5.0%.  There will be several gauges of the housing market — the Case-Shiller and FHFA home price measures as well as new and existing home sales.  Durable goods orders, the New York and mid-western manufacturing PMI readings, and consumer confidence are due as well, plus the usual weekly figures on jobless claims, mortgage applications, chain store sales, and energy inventories.  No fewer than four regional Fed indices are being released by the Richmond, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City districts.

Upcoming euro area figures will be reported on the current account, M3 and credit growth, unemployment, consumer prices, economic sentiment and the retail PMI.  Germany will be releasing consumer confidence, import prices, the IFO business climate index, the CPI and monthly labor statistics.  France reports consumer spending on manufactured goods, unemployment and consumer confidence, while Italy announces producer prices and business sentiment.  The Netherlands also reports business confidence, while Belgium and Spain will give an early indication of consumer price trends in January.

Japan has its end-of-month bunching of releases — customs trade, the Shoko Chukin small business sentiment index, corporate service prices, a monthly Tankan proxy from Reuters, retail sales, labor force statistics, household spending, consumer prices, industrial production, housing starts, construction orders and the manufacturing PMI.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines report trade statistics, and Singapore and Taiwan release industrial production and unemployment.  Investors will also learn about Singapore consumer prices.

South Africa announces consumer and producer prices as well as trade data.  New Zealand releases building permits and its trade balance.  Australia, like South Africa, reports producer and consumer prices, plus its index of leading economic indicators and private credit growth.

British fourth-quarter GDP arrives on Tuesday.  Remember that Britain was one of the few countries to experience a further contraction in the summer quarter, and its latest retail sales report suggests that growth last quarter will be considerably weaker than what the United States reports later in the week.  Other scheduled releases in the U.K. are mortgage loans, consumer confidence, the Nationwide house price index, and results of the latest monthly CBI survey of retailers.

Sweden plans to report retail sales, producer prices, the labor force survey and trade statistics.  The Swiss consumption indicator and index of leading economic indicators are due, and so too are Norwegian retail sales and unemployment.

Canada releases monthly figures for GDP, the PPI, and raw material prices.  Mexican retail sales and Brazilian and Chilean unemployment are due.

Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa speaks publicly on two different days.  Governor King of the Bank of England will be testifying in parliament with some of his colleagues on Tuesday,   Fed Governor Kohn, who’s always plugged into to the central bank’s inner circle, will speak on Friday, and Mario Draghi, a current ECB policymaker and considered to be one of the front-runners to replace President Trichet in late 2011, talks on Tuesday.  Last but far from least, Bernanke’s first term as Fed Chairman expires at the end of next.  The outcome of a senate confirmation vote next week for a second term remains in some doubt.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2010.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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