Thursday Data Highlights

December 10, 2008

In addition to several central bank interest rate meetings, tomorrow sees the release of some economic indicators of interest. Chinese consumer prices take on added importance after the surprisingly sharp decline in producer price inflation reported today to 2.0% y/y in November from 6.6% in October and 10.1% in August. The United States and Canada release trade figures. In recessionary times like these, export and import growth are more meaningful than the size of the trade imbalance. Falling oil prices point to improved trade positions in the months ahead for oil consuming nations. Canada is an oil importer but an energy exporter. The U.S. also reports import prices and new jobless claims, a proxy for the layoff rate. It will not happen this week, but sometime before spring, the total of new jobless claims could be exceeding 600K. Australia’s monthly labor statistics are overdue to start showing more consistently weak activity. October’s employment advance of 34.5K was unexpected and not consistent with other signs of weakness in the economy. Jobs probably fell in November. Likewise, Canadian house prices most likely slid as well.

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