Next Week

January 2, 2009

Next week has a huge slate of scheduled data releases in contrast to the thin week just ended.

From Euroland comes service-sector PMI readings, investor sentiment, business sentiment, consumer confidence, revised GDP, retail sales, unemployment, consumer prices and producer prices. German industrial production, factory orders, retail sales, labor market statistics and trade figures are scheduled, too, as are French consumer confidence, industrial output and trades.

In Britain, investors will get to see another house price measure, the service-sector PMI, industrial output, and the PPI. The Bank of England has the only G-7 interest rate meeting, with a consensus expectation that the 2.0% rate will be cut to 1.5%. I suspect the decline will be deeper. Central banks in Turkey and South Korea are also projected to cut interest rates about a half percentage point. The Bank of Korea might even reduce its rate more deeply than that.

The FOMC releases minutes from its December meeting. Scheduled U.S. data include pending home sales, construction spending, consumer confidence, leading economic indicators, jobless claims, factory orders, and the service-sector PMI. Towering above all these releases will be the December labor force survey, which could produce a job loss of more than a half million workers and an unemployment rate with a seven-handle.

Japan always starts the new year slowly. Markets were closed today, for instance, and the monetary base is the only data release of any significance.

However, Canada has a pretty thick data calendar, which includes the IVEY-PMI index, housing starts, producer prices, raw material prices, and the monthly labor force survey.


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