The Eurozone is once again looking shaky

11 April, 2016

Main Macro Events This Week

United States: There is a lot of potentially relevant US data due out this week, including CPI and retail sales. The week starts with March trade prices (Tuesday), where import prices should jump 1.6% (0.9% median) thanks to a rebound in oil (-0.1% ex-petro), while export prices are slated to sink 0.2% (median -0.3%). The Treasury budget is also due for March, with the deficit seen almost doubling to -$94.0 bln versus last March’s -$52.9 bln.Wednesday sees, retail sales, with a flat forecast for the headline (median 0.3%) amid some drag from chain store sales vs -0.1% in February. Excluding autos, sales should rebound 0.3% after the prior 0.1% dip. PPI is set to rise 0.2% headline (median 0.3%) or just 0.1% core, with business inventories seen sinking 0.2% in February. Inflation’s better half, the CPI report is due (Thursday) and expected to rise 0.1% in March (median 0.2%) vs -0.2% in February. Initial jobless claims may dip 7k to 260k (median 270k) for the April 9 week. Empire State is projected to sink to 0.0 in April (median 2.2) vs 0.6 (Friday), along with a 0.4% fall (median unchanged) in industrial production for March vs -0.5% and a drop in capacity use to 75.0% (median 75.4%) vs 75.4%. Preliminary Michigan sentiment may hold steady at 91.0 (median 92.0) and the TIC inflow report is also due.

Canada: The Bank of Canada’s policy announcement and MPR (Wednesday) loom large this week. We expect no change in the current 0.50% policy setting to come alongside a slightly more upbeat growth outlook, but one that maintains that ample downside risk to growth is still in place. The take-away from the announcement and MPR is expected to be for an extended period of steady policy, as the Bank remains on the sidelines while past monetary stimulus continues to work through the system and fresh fiscal stimulus comes on-line. Economic data this week is back-loaded, with February new home prices (Thursday) and February manufacturing shipments (Friday) due at the end of the week. Manufacturing shipments are expected to fall 1.5% in February after the 2.3% surge in January. The new home price index is seen expanding 0.2% m/m in February after the 0.1% rise in January. Existing home sales for March (Friday) and the Teranet/National HPI for March (Wednesday) are also due out.

Europe: The Eurozone is once again looking shaky. Ongoing problems in Greek bailout talks have rekindled Grexit fears and with them, the question arises of just how much risk sharing there really is in the Eurozone. Data releases this week focus mainly on final inflation readings for March. German HICP moved back into positive territory and should be confirmed at 0.1% y/y, but with French HICP at -0.1% y/y, Spanish inflation at -1.0% y/y and the Italian HCIP rate at -0.3% y/y, the overall Eurozone CPI (Friday), is expected to be confirmed at a still negative -0.1%. Other data releases include February production and trade data, which are too backward looking to change the overall outlook for the ECB. We expect production to correct -0.9% m/m (median same), from the strong jump in January. The trade surplus meanwhile should widen judging by the improvement in the dominant German number that month, which was backed by a rebound in exports.

UK: The UK calendar has the April BoE Monetary Policy Committee meeting (Thursday), along with the latest BRC survey of retail sales (Tuesday) and inflation figures (also Tuesday). The BoE is widely expected to maintain an unchanged policy stance, by a unanimous vote. The BRC retail sales release is expected to rebound in March data to +1/4% y/y in the like-for-like measure, up from +0.1% y/y growth in February. Record levels of employment and rising real incomes are underpinning the sector. Headline CPI is expected to tick higher, to +0.4% (median same) from 0.3% in the month previous. The core CPI reading is also see nudging up, to +1.4% y/y from 1.3%. Such outcomes would be consistent with BoE projections.

China:  March CPI and PPI have been published earlier Today. Consumer prices were expected to rise to a 2.4% y/y rate from 2.3%, but they remained stuck on 2.3%. PPI however, posted a -4.3% y/y pace from -4.9%, better than expected. March trade surplus (Wednesday) is forecast to have narrowed slightly to $32.0 bln from $32.6 bln. Friday brings the balance of data releases, including March retail sales which are expected to slow to a 10.0% y/y pace from 11.1% previously. March industrial production is seen improving to up 5.7% y/y from 5.4%, while March fixed investment likely ticked up to 10.3% y/y from 10.2%.

Japan: February machine orders have been published earlier Today and the decline was 9.2%, better than the expected 10.0% m/m versus the 15% January rise. March bank loan data is due Tuesday, followed by March PPI (Wednesday) which is see steady at -3.4% y/y. Revised February industrial production data comes on Friday, and is seen at -6.2%, unchanged from the preliminary reading.

Australia: The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Financial Stability Review (Friday) will be of considerable interest. As for economic data, the March employment report (Thursday) is expected to reveal a 10.0k gain following the 0.3k rise in February. The unemployment rate is seen at 5.8%, matching the 5.8% in February. Housing investment (Monday) is expected to rise 1.0% in February after falling 3.9% in January.

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