Weekly Outlook for 13-17 February

During last week the developments in Greece were among the main news items that draw the attention of the financial community.  On Sunday the Greek Parliament will vote on the new austerity plan in order to receive from the EU and IMF the next rescue package of nearly €30 billion. The tensions in Greece are rising with riots and demonstrations against this plan. This issue will probably continue to occupy the financial news cycle during the upcoming week. There are additional news items and decisions to be made during the upcoming week including: U.S. retail sales report, Bernanke’s speech, a G20 summit, BOJ rate decision, the minutes of the recent FOMC meeting, U.S. CPI and American housing starts. Here is an economic news calendar outlook for the week of February 13th to February 17th that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Japan, EU, Canada and Great Britain.   

(All times GMT):

  • Monday 13th of February tentative – Bank of Japan – Rate Decision and Monetary Policy Statement: The Bank of Japan will announce its interest rate decision and monetary policy decisions. Up to now, BOJ left the interest rate unchanged at 0 to 0.1 percent. If the BOJ will introduce monetary stimulus plans, it could affect the Yen and commodities prices seeing that Japan is among the leading countries in importing commodities such as oil, and natural gas;
  • Tuesday 14th of February 09:30 – Great Britain CPI: this report will present the yearly rate of GB’s consumer price index for January; some expect the January inflation will be lower than in recent months; in the previous report regarding December the annual CPI declined from 4.8% to 4.2%; this news may influence British pound traders;
  • Tuesday 14th of February 10:00 –German ZEW economic sentiment: The upcoming publication will refer to the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany for February 2012. For January 2012 the ZEW indicator for Germany increased to -21.6 (see here the recent report);
  • Tuesday 14th of February 13:30 –U.S. Retail Sales Report: this report will show the monthly changes in the retail sales and food services during January 2012; in the recent December report, the retail sales, when controlling for the price changes, slightly rose by 0.1% from the previous month; gasoline stations sales decreased by 1.6% in December compared with November 2011, but were 8.9% above sales in December 2010; this report could signal the changes in U.S’s gasoline demand (see here my review of the recent report);
  • Wednesday 15th of February 10:00– Euro Area GDP 4Q2011 Report: Germany France and Italy will publish during the day their preliminary fourth quarter GDP report. This report will show the changes in the economic growth in these countries; Euro Stat will also publish the GDP growth rate of the Euro Area. According to the recent report during the third quarter of 2011, the Euro Area GDP grew by only 0.2% (Q-o-Q). This news might affect the Euro; the current expectations are of another a low growth rate for the fourth quarter (see here recent report);
  • Wednesday 15th of February 10:30 –Bank of England’s Governor King speaks: The governor of Bank of England will give a speech that could offer some insight to the recent BOE interest rate decision and monetary decision; this speech may affect the British Pound trading (see here last statement);
  • Wednesday 15th of February 15:30 – EIA Crude Oil Market Report: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will be published with its weekly report on the U.S oil and petroleum market regarding the week ending on February 10th; in recent week’s report, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles rose by 3.8 million barrels to 1,755.6 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);
  • Wednesday 15th of February 19:00 – FOMC Meeting Minutes: Following the last FOMC meeting, in which it was decided to extend the pledge of keeping the interest rates low until late 2014, , the market promptly reacted to this news as gold and silver prices sharply rose. The minutes of the FOMC meeting might bring some perspective behind this decision regarding the next steps of the FOMC;
  • Thursday 16th of February 13:30 – U.S. Housing Starts: the U.S Census Bureau will publish the U.S housing starts report; this report was historically correlated with gold price – as housing starts rose, gold prices tended to decline the following day (even when controlling to the U.S dollar effect); in the last report, the adjusted annual rate reached 657,000 in December 2011, which was 4.1% below November’s rate of 685,000 (for the recent review);


  • Thursday 16th of February 13:30 – U.S. Building Permits: The previous report presented a 0.1% decrease (M-o-M) in the adjusted annual rate of building permits as it reached 679,000 in December 2011. If this report will continue to show a drop in the building permits rate, it may indicate that the US housing market isn’t recovering from its slowdown  (see here the previous review);


  • Thursday 16th of February 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims declined by 15,000 to 358,000 claims for the week ending on February 4th; the number of insured unemployment also decreased by 33k to 3.451 million during the week of January 28th; the upcoming weekly update might affect the commodities market;
  • Thursday 16th of February 13:30 – U.S. Producer Price Index: This report will present the progress in the PPI during January 2012, i.e. the inflation rate from producers’ stand point. In the last report regarding December this index for finished goods slightly fell by 0.1% compared with November’s rate but rose by 4.8% in the past 12 months; this news might affect the direction of gold and silver prices;
  • Thursday 16th of February 14:00 – Bernanke Speech: following the Chairman of the Federal Reserve testimony and the recent FOMC meeting, Bernanke’s upcoming speech might have some influence on the forex and commodities markets. The title of the speech is named “Community Banking“;
  • Thursday 16th of February 15:00 – Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: This monthly survey gives an estimate for the progress of the US economy as it measures the manufacturing conditions. In the last January survey, the report showed the growth rate moderately rose from +6.8 in December to +7.3 in January 2012. This index, may  modify not only the U.S Dollar but also the American stock markets, oil and gold prices (see here last report);
  • Thursday 16th of February 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Market Report: this weekly update by EIA’ of the U.S. natural gas market will present the recent developments for the week ending on February 10th on natural gas production, storage, consumption and price changes. In the recent report, natural gas storage  fell by 78 Bcf to 2,888 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here the recent review on the natural gas market); 
  • Friday 17th of February 13:00 – Canada’s Core CPI: This report will refer to the core consumer price index changes during January 2012 when controlling the volatile components such as energy, fruit and vegetables. According to the Canadian CPI report for December 2011, the CPI rose by 2.3% during the past 12 month up to December – this is a lower rate than in November by 0.6 percent points; the core CPI excluding food and energy rose by 1.9% from December 2010 to December 2011. This report could affect the trade on the Canadian dollar, which is strongly correlated with commodities prices;
  • Friday 17th of February 13:30 –U.S core Consumer Price Index: This monthly report will present the main changes in the core consumer price index during January 2012. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics in December 2011, the core CPI remained flat (M-o-M) but rose over the last 12 months by 2.2%;
  • Friday 17th of February All day – G20 Meeting.