Sunday, April 25, 2010

Economic Calendar: US GDP, Fed, and Housing

Here's the Economic Calendar for the week commencing 26 April 2010. This week there's monetary policy decisions from the US Fed, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Bank of Japan; and sticking with monetary policy; inflation stats are due out for Australia, Germany, Japan, and the EU. Then of course there's the main event: Q1 GDP growth rate for the US, likewise, Canada will put out its February GDP figures. There's also an update on house prices in the US and UK, and the manufacturing PMI from China which is due for release on Friday.

(More commentary follows the table)

Day Time (GMT) Code Event/Release Forecast Previous
GBP Nationwide House Prices 9.7% 9.0%
TUE 14:00 USD Consumer Confidence 54.00 52.50
TUE 13:00 USD S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index 1.3% -0.7%
TUE 1:30 AUD NAB Business Confidence
TUE 23:50 JPY Retail Trade 3.6% 4.2%
EUR German CPI
WED 1:30 AUD Consumer Price Index 2.8% 2.1%
WED 18:15 USD FOMC Interest Rate Decision 0.25% 0.25%
WED 21:00 NZD RBNZ Interest Rate Decision 2.50% 2.50%
WED 3:00 NZD NBNZ Business Confidence
WED 22:45 NZD Trade Balance
THU 9:00 EUR Industrial Confidence (8.00) (10.00)
THU 23:50 JPY Industrial Production 31.3% 31.3%
THU 23:50 JPY Jobless Rate 4.9% 4.9%
THU 23:50 JPY Consumer Price Index -1.2% -1.2%
THU 12:30 USD Initial Jobless Claims 442K 456K
FRI 12:30 USD Gross Domestic Product 3.4% 5.6%
FRI 13:55 USD U. of Michigan Confidence 71.00 69.50
JPY BoJ Interest Rate Decision 0.10% 0.10%
FRI 12:30 USD Personal Consumption 3.1% 1.6%
FRI 5:00 JPY Annualised Housing Starts 0.826M 0.794M
FRI 9:00 EUR Consumer Price Index 1.5% 1.5%
FRI 9:00 EUR Unemployment Rate 10.0% 10.0%
FRI 12:30 CAD Monthly Gross Domestic Product 0.4% 0.6%
FRI 21:00 CNY Manufacturing PMI 55.70 55.10

On the monetary policy front it's likely to be pretty business as usual for all the banks announcing their decisions this week. Japan is still struggling with deflation, the US wont move until unemployment starts to fall, and New Zealand will likely hold off until June if you believe the consensus, but there are some outliers picking a rise in April - that would move the markets (also there's a contract trading on ipredict for a 25bp increase in the rate that is priced at about $0.04... that's probably about right in terms of probabilities).

On the main event, i.e. US Q1 2010 GDP, the forecast is for 3.4% annualised growth (or to be more accurate, 0.85% growth quarter on quarter, vs 1.4% in Q4 2009). The forecast is probably right in terms of the direction and rough magnitude, the US is currently progressing through the great rebound, but it remains to be seen how sustainable it will turn out to be. Obviously I'll be watching this one closely for any clues in the details that things could really be changing.

Another interesting data point out this week will be Chinese manufacturing PMI, which will be informative in terms of Chinese industrial sector sentiment; the pick is for a small rise. In recent history the index fell into the low 40s around the end of 2008, but recovered above the 50 point expansion mark in early 2010 and has been more or less stable since then; despite a slight hiccup early this year.

Another key bit of data will be the US S&P Case Shiller house price index (the 20 city composite), picked to rise 1.3% year on year, vs previous -0.7%... the housing market in the US was a key factor in the global financial crisis so understandably many people are watching this one intently. Basically what we want to see is the US housing market recovering as this will take at least a little bit of pressure off of some of the vulnerabilities that still remain in that sector of the US economy (and by extension the rest of the US economy...).

Stay tuned for updates...

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