Weekly Outlook for August 29- September 2

This upcoming week will start with all eyes towards the East coast of the US and the ramifications of Hurricane Irene. The last week of August will also present many items on the agenda that could affect commodities, forex and stock markets including, among others, the Trichet speech, US pending home sales, China and U.S. Manufacturing PMI reports and U.S. unemployment rate report and non-farm employment change to be published on Friday. Here is an economic news calendar for the week of August 29th to September 2nd that highlights the main news items and reports related to U.S, Euro zone, China and Canada.   

(all times GMT):

  1. Monday 29th of August 13:30 – ECB conference Trichet speaks: last month ECB kept interest rate at 1.5%. Jean Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, will testify on the debt crisis in Europe; the recent Euro Area GDP growth rate in the second quarter reached only a 0.2%; this news might bring new pressures to halt the trend of raising the interest rates in the months to come and perhaps even lower rates in the near future;
  2. Monday 29th of August 15:00 – U.S. pending home sales: This report shows the major changes in pending home sales in the U.S. for July 2011; in the recent June report there was an increase in the pending home sales index by 2.2% compared with May’s index. The recent new home sales report from last week showed a moderate decline in sales during July; perhaps it may indicate that the US housing market is slowing down (see here the recent report);
  3. Tuesday 30th of August 15.00 – US consumer confidence: in the previous report, the consumer confidence index slightly inclined during July compared with June’s index. The current expectations are that this index may drop in the upcoming report; this report could affect commodities traders including in the crude oil market;
  4. Tuesday 30th of August 17:30 – FOMC meeting minutes: Following the recent FOMC meeting, in which it was decided to keep the interest rates low until mid-2013, the minutes might bring some insight regarding this decision, and the stands of the members in regards to future plans of the FOMC (see here FOMC decision);
  5. Wednesday 31st of August 10.00 – Euro Area rate of unemployment: the Euro Area seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached 9.9% in June 2011 – remained unchanged from May 2011. The current expectations are the unemployment rate in July will remain at 9.9%. Spain is still leading the Euro Area countries unemployment rate with 21% (for the full previous report);
  6. Wednesday 31st of August 10.00 – Euro Area annual inflation (July): the inflation in Euro Area slightly fell according to the previous flash report; In the last report of July 2011 the annual inflation rate fell to 2.5%, compared with 2.7% during June for Euro Area (for the full previous report);
  7. Wednesday 31st of August 13.30 – ADP estimate of U.S. change in non-farm employment: ADP will provide an estimate in the US employment during recent month (August);
  8. Wednesday 31st of August 13:30 – Canada GDP by industry: This report will present the changes in major industrial sectors for June 2011. In the last report pertaining May 2011, the real gross domestic product declined by 0.3% during May 2011, after it didn’t change in April 2011. The May fall was stem in part from a decreased of 0.4% in Manufacturing and a 0.3% decline in construction activity. This report could affect the strength of CAD exchange rate and consequently major commodities prices (for the full previous report).
  9. Wednesday 31st of August 15:30 – EIA report about Crude oil inventories: Hurricane Irene might damage crude oil infrastructure, rigs and pipelines that could affect the US crude oil market in the weeks to come. The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will publish its weekly report on the U.S Petroleum market for the week ending on August 26th; last week the US oil stockpiles nearly didn’t change and decreased by 827 thousand barrels, or by 0.05% and reached 1,794 million barrels (see here the recent crude oil market review);
  10. Wednesday 31st of August 2.00– China Manufacturing PMI: this index will cover 800 companies in 20 industries in China; according to the HSBC Manufacturing PMI report regarding July the PMI reached 49.3 which is slightly below the 50 mark and indicated a small contraction in the growth rate in China’s manufacturing sectors;
  11. Thursday 1st of September 13:30 – Department of Labor report – U.S. unemployment claims: For the week ending on August 20th, initial claims increased by 5,000 to 417,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percent point to 2.9% for the week ending on August 13th; the number of insured unemployment was 3.641 million, a decrease of 80,000 compared with the previous week’s (see here my recent review on the US Labor market);
  12. Thursday 1st of September 15.00 – U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI: This report will refer to August 2011, and will indicate the monthly change in manufacturing sector on a national level. During July the index fell to 50.9% a decrease of 4.4 percent points compared to the previous month’s index; this index might affect traders of crude oil and natural gas (see here my review of last report);
  13. Thursday 1st of September 15:30 – EIA report about Natural gas storage: Hurricane Irene is likely to affect during the week the US natural gas market and reduce the consumption in electric sector, however depending on the damage the Hurricane may have on the natural gas pipelines and infrastructure; it may affect transfer and production in natural gas in the weeks to come; the EIA will publish its U.S. natural gas stocks, production and consumption report for the week ending on August 26th. In the recent report, natural gas storage continues stocking up as it rose for the twentieth straight week; last week by 73 Bcf  to 2,906 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states; the natural gas storage is still 4.6% below the storage level during the same week in 2010 (see here my recent natural gas storage review);
  14. Friday 2nd of September 13.30 – U.S. unemployment rate report & non-farm employment change: in the recent August report regarding July, there was an increase in the number of non-farm payroll employment of 117 thousand people, which is nearly the rate needed to maintain the unemployment rate unchanged; the US unemployment rate declined to 9.1% a minor fall of 0.1 percent point compared with June’s rate; there are speculations that the upcoming report regarding July 2011 will show an improvement than the previous month; this report could affect the future decision of the Fed in implementing a stimulus plan (see my last review on the US employment report).


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