Next Week

April 23, 2010

A really exciting week lies ahead for economic data junkies and central bank watchers.  Thursday, April 29, sees the first of Japan’s four holiday closures, that being Showa Day to honor the Emperor’s birthday, followed by Constitution Day on Monday, May3, Greenery Day on May 4 and Children’s Day on May 5.  Together these off-days constitute the Golden Week holidays.  A few of the data highlights will be the first glimpse of U.S. first-quarter growth, Euroland overall, industrial and consumer sentiment, and Japanese industrial production and real household spending.

Central bank meetings will be held in the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Poland, Hungary, Israel, and Hong Kong.  Rate increases seem likely in Brazil and perhaps Israel, and a further cut in Hungary looks plausible.  Investors await whether the FOMC finally deleted the “extended period” phraseology from its statement and the Bank of Japan’s new growth and inflation forecasts, which will be included as part of that Bank’s semi-annual review.  Key central bank speakers during the week will include ECB President Trichet twice as well as Honhan, Tumpel-Gugerell, Mersch and Stark also of the ECB and Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa.

Being the final week of the calendar month, Japan releases a ton of figures, many on Friday.  The list includes corporate service prices, the Shoko Chukin index of small business sentiment, unemployment, consumer prices, the factory manufacturing purchasing managers index, housing starts, construction orders, wages, and the aforementioned retail sales and industrial production.

Scheduled statistics from the euro area include, from the whole bloc, money and credit growth, overall, industrial and consumer confidence, consumer prices, unemployment and capacity utilization.  Germany reports consumer prices, import prices, consumer sentiment, and unemployment.  France and Italy report producer prices and consumer confidence.  France also releases unemployment and jobs, while Italy announces business sentiment and wage figures.  Spanish and Belgian CPI data are due too, and Belgium, as always, will be among the first in the region to release GDP.

Britain’s big week of day each month just passed.  A shorter slate next week includes the Hometrack and Nationwide house price indices, bank loans, and the CBI monthly retail survey.  Sweden announces producer prices, trades, labor market data, consumer confidence, and retail sales. Norway also reports retail sales but also business sentiment, and the Swiss consumption indicator from UBS is due.

In addition to the eagerly awaited quarterly GDP figures and the sister employment cost index, U.S. scheduled statistics next week include the Case-Shiller house price index, the U. Michigan and Conference Board measures of consumer confidence, the Kansas City, Richmond, and Dallas Fed indices, and regional PMI reports for Chicago, New York and Milwaukee.  Plus, there is the usual slew of weekly figures covering chain store sales, jobless claims, mortgage applications, energy inventories, and consumer confidence.

Canada releases monthly GDP, which has been on a sizzling 6.2% annualized pace over the last five reported months, plus producer and raw material prices.  Brazil announces the latest unemployment and consumer confidence trends, and Chile reports on unemployment too, as well as industrial output.

Australia’s PPI and CPI reports take on extra meaningfulness after the central bank governor there said that inflation would be the key determinant of future monetary policy moves.  Australian private credit growth figures are due as well.  Neighboring New Zealand reports business sentiment and trade figures.  South Africa, like Australia, has the CPI, PPI, and money aggregates on its schedule.  Turkey will announce industrial production.

South Korean GDP data are due, as are industrial production figures from that economy as well as Thailand and Singapore.  Hong Kong and the Philippines release trade statistics.

Markets will be digesting statements and actions made at the G-20 meeting.  By again not releasing a communique, G-7 finance ministers and central bankers have in practicality and formally handed over their responsibility for coordinating forex and macroeconomic policies to the larger G-20 forum.  For those interested in what the G-7 had done in this area since October 2001, please click hereHildebrand of the Swiss National Bank and Shirakawa of the Bank of Japan have important speaking engagements.

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

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