Next Week

January 9, 2009

The coming week will not be quite as full with central bank meetings and significant data as the past one, but there will will be ample news to follow. Japan is closed Monday for Coming of Age holiday, and U.S. markets will shut early on the 16th for the Martin Luther King 3-day weekend.

The main event is Thursday’s ECB rate announcement and press conference.  Last month’s quarterly forecast already look dated.  Currency market players have become increasingly frustrated with ECB policy.  The consensus looks for a cut of 50 basis points to 2.0%, but that would only tie the bank’s record low.  The Bank of Thailand also is expected to cut rates by around a half-percentage point.  The Bank of Mexico has an interest rate policy meeting, too.

Trade date are getting released by Britain, Canada, China, Euroland and the United States.  Monthly capital flow data compiled by the U.S. Treasury, the so-called TIC statistics, also arrive.  Trade balances no longer hold much focus. Markets will be focused upon how rapidly exports and imports are contracting.

It’s a big week too for price data, much consisting of revised December figures in Euroland. The U.S. releases import prices, producer prices, and consumer prices. Swedish consumer prices and Japanese corporate goods prices are also due.

Scheduled indicators related to demand, output, and sentiment include Japan’s Economy Watchers’ index and and machinery orders, the first estimate of full-2008 German GDP growth from which 4Q can be deduced, Italian and Euroland industrial production, French business sentiment, Canada’s quarterly business survey, U.S. industrial production, retail sales, business inventories, and consumer confidence a la U. Michigan, Australian labor statistics, and Swedish unemployment.

Japan will report money and credit growth, and Britain has some releases bearing on house price inflation. Australia reports housing finance.

Several Fed officials, including Bernanke on Tuesday, have scheduled speaking engagements. ECB President holds a monthly press conference after Thursday’s rate announcement.


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