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THE WEEK AHEAD: August 17-21

The Week of the 17th through the 21st had fewer major economic data releases scheduled than the prior two weeks, but there is still a tremendous amount to digest. Attached below is a snapshot of some (though far from all) of the headline numbers that we will be focused on.

Sunday/Monday August 17


US: The August Empire State index will be released on Monday morning, as will Treasury Department Net Foreign Securities Purchases for June.

Europe: The Eurostat Eurozone Trade Balance figures for June will be released as will June Retail Sales for Switzerland.

Asia: Japanese Q2 GDP data will be released on Sunday evening. On Monday morning Singapore July Export data will be released, while in the evening the RBA August meeting notes will be released giving greater insight into the mindset of Governor Steven’s and his team.


Tuesday August 18

US: PPI data for July will be released at 8:30 am on Tuesday as will Census Bureau Housing Starts, Building permit and Housing Completion figures for July. Weekly ICSC, Redbook and ABC Consumer Comfort index data will also be released.

Europe: UK CPI and Retail Prices data for July will be released on Tuesday morning, as will August ZEW sentiment indices in Germany.  

Asia: Hong Kong Unemployment rate data for July will be released on Tuesday morning.  On Tuesday evening, RBA Assistant Governor Edey will be speaking on the impact of the global financial crisis on the Australian Financial Services Industry.

Wednesday August 19

US:  Weekly MBA Mortgage application data will be released on Wednesday morning, as will EIA oil gas and distillate stock levels.

Europe: The minutes from the BOE August 5-6 monetary policy meeting will be released on Wednesday morning. German PPI data for July is also slated for released on Wednesday: a data point which, although stale, is of key interest to us as we follow industrial recovery in the largest European economy. Eurozone Current Account data for June will be released on Wednesday by the ECB.

Asia:  Malaysian CPI data  for July is due on Wednesday morning, with consensus estimates at just shy of -2.5% Y/Y, any surprise to the upside in this commodity driven economy will be of intense interest to any South East Asia inflation watchers.

Thursday August 20

US:  the Confidence Board Leading Indicator index for July will be published at 10 AM, while weekly Initial Claims, EIA Natural Gas Stock and Fed M2 figures will be also be released through the day at their normal times. At 11 AM, the Treasury will announce 2, 5 and 7 year notes.

Europe: A slew of data points will be released in the UK on Thursday morning including July Retail Sales, M4 and CML Mortgage Lending. Also that morning, Norway will release Q2 GDP.

Asia:  The big story in Asia on the 20th will be reported Q2 GDP and Current Account data for Taiwan. With the country reeling from the destructive Typhoon, it is likely that government policy makers will use this release as an opportunity to discuss further strengthening of  trade ties with the mainland as the recovery process continues after this setback. Weekly Indian Wholesale Price Index data is reported on Thursday, with levels still registering stubbornly negative in recent weeks there will be continued scrutiny of the figures by RBI watchers. Also on Thursday, Hong Kong will release CPI levels for June.

Friday August 21

US: July Existing Home Sales will be released at 10 AM. Also at 10 AM, Chairman Bernanke will speak at Jackson Hole on “Reflections of a Year in Crisis”. Expect any statements by “the bearded one” that sound remotely self congratulatory to stoke more pundit criticism for perceived Fed failures. There will be a subsequent fed panel discussion on policy implementation in the afternoon.

Europe:  Reuters August PMI data for the Eurozone in aggregate as well as Germany and France in particular will be released on Friday morning. With the recent signals of returning strength in the German and French economies we will be focused on any signals contained in the Manufacturing and, or Services index levels.