Weekly outlook for May 23-27

Here is an economic news calendar for the week of May 23rd to 27th that highlights the main news items and reports related to US, Japan and Europe.

(all times GMT):

  1. Monday 23rd of May 06.00 – Bank of Japan monthly report: This report presents an analysis of BOJ about the Japanese economy; in the last report, as expected, the monthly report showed a slow down in the Japanese economy, mainly due to the recent tsunami attack back in mid March 2011. The upcoming report will probably continue to show a slow down in Japan’s economic progress (For the previous report );
  2. Tuesday 24th of May  23.50 – Report of Japanese Trade balance (for April): The Japanese trade balance for the March 2011 decreased sharply by 79.8% compared to February 2011, to reach  96.266 billion YEN surplus (seasonally adjusted figures). This decrease is mainly due to the drop in exports by 7.7%, compared to a 1.4% decrease in imports. This drop is related, yet again, to the earthquakes during March. Japan is among the leading importing countries of commodities, such as crude oil and gold; its trade balance could provide insight into Japan’s changes in demand goods and services;
  3. Wednesday 25th of May, tentative – Publishing the US Treasury Currency Report by the Department of Treasury: This biannual report provides information and analysis on U.S. economic policies and U.S. economic conditions. In the previous report (February 2011) showed that the unemployment rate is still high at 9.9% to 9.4%, however there is slow recovery in  GDP growth with a cumulative growth of 4.5% since mid 2009. This report could provide some insight into the economic growth and stability of the US economy compared to other major economies (For the previous report );
  4. Wednesday 25th of May 13.30 – US Department of Commerce – Report on Durable Goods: This monthly report presents the changes in orders of durable goods in the US in the manufacturing sector. This report shows indirectly the changes in US demand for goods including major commodities. During March 2011, there was an increase in manufactured durable goods by $5.0 billion or 2.5% to $208.4 billion; Non-defense new orders for capital goods increased by $2.3 billion or 3.2% to $73.3 billion (for the full report);
  5. Wednesday 25th of May 15.30 – EIA report about Crude oil inventories: The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will present its weekly report on the U.S Petroleum prices and oil stocks; in the previous report, they remained unchanged during last week after they inclined by 6.5 million barrels a week earlier. For the week ending on May 13th the oil stocks remained on 1,774.0 million barrels – the highest level since February 25th, 2011 (see here my recent review on crude oil stocks);
  6. Thursday 26th of May 10.20 – ECB president Trichet  speaks: Following the recent rate decision in which ECB didn’t raise its basic interest rate, it will be interesting to see if there will be any changes in the European Central Bank stand about the EURO/USD and rate decision. The recent bailout of Portugal will probably also be on the agenda that President Jean-Claude Trichet will address in his upcoming speech (see here recent speech);
  7. Thursday 26th of May 13.30 – Department of Labor report – US unemployment claims: For the week ending on May 14th, initial claims decreased by 29,000, as it reached 409,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.0% for the week ending on May 7th; and the number of insured unemployment was 3.711 million, a decrease of 81,000 compared to the previous week’s number. (see here my recent review on the US Labor market );
  8. Thursday 26th of May 13:30– US GDP 1Q 2011report: This will be a second estimate report pertaining first quarter 2011 real GDP of US. In the first estimate the 1Q2011 GDP growth rate was 1.8%, compared to 3.1% at 4Q10. This shows a moderate rise in US’s GDP growth rate and a slow down compared to the previous quarter (for the first estimate of 1Q GDP).
  9. Thursday 26th of May 15.30 – EIA report about Natural gas storage: the EIA will also report on the US natural gas market from last week including storage, production and consumption. In the recent EIA report, natural gas storage   increased for the sixth straight week, last week by 5.0%; a 92 Bcf injection, – the highest injection since October 15th 2010; the natural gas storage rose to 1,919 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here my recent natural gas storage review);
  10. Friday 27th of May 09.00 – Monetary developments in the euro area: This monthly report is about M3, M1 and loans to private sector in the Euro area. This upcoming report will refer to April 2011. In the previous report pertaining March, the annual growth rate for M3 inclined to 2.3%, from 2.1% annual rate in February 2011. On the other hand, the annual growth rate of loans to private sector declined from 2.6% in February to 2.5% in March. These data show a rise in inflation pressures in the Euro Area that might influence investors’ perspective on the economic stability of the EURO zone (see here the last report);
  11. Friday 27th of May 15.00 –US pending home sales: the US economy shows some improvement in the housing market as during March 2011 there was an increase in pending home sales; if this upcoming report will continue to show improvement this may suggest that the housing market in the US is improving and the demand for commodities (see here the recent report).


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