Next Week

April 22, 2011

The Federal Reserve will be in the spotlight next Wednesday.  Note that the FOMC interest rate policy statement will be released at 12:30 local time (16:30 GMT) instead of the usual 14:15 hour.  Then Chairman Bernanke at 18:30 will inaugurate a new press conference feature in attempt to make policy even more transparent.  Four press conferences will be held annually, thus following half the allotment of eight policy meetings each year.  Central bank meetings are also planned next week in New Zealand and Japan.  None of these three banks is expected to change key interest rates.  Besides Bernanke, who also speaks publicly on Friday, Duke of the Fed, Sentance of the Bank of England, and Hildebrand of the Swiss National Bank speak during the week.

Various markets will be closed at one time or another next week.  Easter Monday will be observed in much of Europe including Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Britain, as well as in Australia and Canada.  On Friday, Japan will be closed for Showa Day, the first of four “Golden Week” holidays, and Britain observes a Bank Holiday to commemorate the Royal Wedding of William and Kate.

The U.S. data release calendar is very thick.  It features the first estimates of first-quarter GDP and employment costs and also includes monthly statistics covering new home sales, pending home sales, house prices (Case Shiller index), personal income and spending, durable goods orders, consumer confidence and the final U. Michigan reading on consumer sentiment.  The Dallas, Richmond, Chicago, and Kansas City manufacturing surveys arrive, and so to the Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York (NAPM) purchasing manager regional surveys.  Investors will also be studying weekly figures for chain store sales, consumer confidence, mortgage applications, jobless insurance claims, and energy inventories.

Being the final week of the month, Japan also has many data releases planned.  They are corporate service prices, the all industry index, retail sales, household spending, consumer prices, unemployment and jobs, housing starts, construction orders, industrial production, and the Shoko Chukin index of small business sentiment.

Some of the other Asian releases next week will be South Korean consumer sentiment, Malaysian producer prices, Hong Kong trade data, and Singaporean consumer and producer prices, labor figures and industrial output.

Euroland debt/GDP and deficit/GDP ratios will draw considerable interest.  It was such a release in November revealing a significant upwardly revised Greek deficit that started the regions sovereign debt crisis.  Other items on the euro area data calendar are money and credit growth, consumer prices, unemployment and various sentiment measures for the overall business climate, consumers, retailers, construction, and industry.

Among members of the common currency union, Germany will be announcing consumer prices, retail sales, consumer confidence, unemployment and the index of leading economic indicators.  France reports consumer confidence and spending as well as producer prices.  Both PPI and CPI figures will be reported by Italy, as will consumer and business sentiment.  Spain also releases producer prices as well as retail sales and its current account. Greek trades, Portuguese consumer sentiment, and Finnish unemployment and consumer confidence are due, too.

Between holiday closures on Monday and Friday, Britain reports some important statistics led by first-quarter GDP and also including mortgage loans, the services index, consumer confidence, the industrial trends survey, and Nationwide’s consumer sentiment index. Swiss trade data and that economy’s index of leading economic indicators and consumption indicator gauge arrive next week.  So do Swedish and Norwegian retail sales.  Sweden also releases unemployment, trade surplus figures, and consumer confidence.  Hungary reports unemployment and retail sales, while both Romania and the Czech Republic release money growth data.

Australian releases feature the monthly consumer price report as well as private credit growth and the index of leading economic indicators.  Aside from a policy meeting at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, that country reports business sentiment, trade figures and money growth.  South Africa’s index of leading economic indicators and Turkish trade data are also on tap.

Canadian monthly GDP and wage earnings are scheduled, as are Mexican trade figures.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2011.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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