Weekly outlook for May 16-20

Here is an economic news calendar of weekly outlook for May 16th to 20th that highlights the main news items and reports related to US, Canada, Japan, Europe and Australia.

(all times GMT):

  1. Monday 16th of May 10:00 – Euro Area CPI and core monthly inflation (April): Despite that during last month the ECB decided to keep the interest rate at 1.25%, there are still concerns regarding the inflation in Euro zone, due to the low interest rate, the rising prices of major commodities and the debt crisis in Ireland, Greece and perhaps even Portugal. In the last report regarding March 2011 the annual inflation rate was 2.7%, up from 2.4% in February for Euro Area. There are expectations that in the upcoming CPI report for April 2011 there will be an additional growth in CPI due to the high energy prices; this news might affect the Euro currency and consequentially major commodities prices including crude oil and gold (for the full previous report);
  2. Monday 16th of May 14.00 – Ben Bernanke, Chairman of Fed, speaks: Following the chairman of the Federal Reserve testimony last week, this week Ben Bernanke is expected to give a speech  about the labor market and economic growth. Since the stimulus plan of the Federal Reserve in which it bought bonds at 600 billion US dollar is about to end by June, he’s speech might offer some perspicacity  into the future plans of the Fed in order to stimulate the US economy (see here Fed’s site);
  3. Tuesday 17th of May 2.30 – Monetary Policy meeting Australia’s Bank : The minutes of the monetary policy meeting of the reserve bank of Australia, show the main domestic and international factors that affected the board’s decisions on the Bank’s basic interest rate which is currently at 4.75%; this decision might affect the AUD/USD and if so may have an effect on major commodities including gold and crude oil (see here last rate decision);
  4. Wednesday 18th 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, keep on rising and during last week they inclined by 6.5 million barrels, a 0.36% increase compared to the previous week and reached 1,774.0 million barrels – the highest level since February 25th, 2011. (see here my recent review on crude oil stocks);
  5. Wednesday 18th of May 19.00 – FOMC meeting minutes regarding rate decision: The FOMC is responsible for deciding the Fed’s basic interest rate and in the last meeting back in April 27th the committee decided, as expected to leave the basic rate at 0-0.25 percent and keep the stimulus plan. Perhaps the minutes will reveal some insight into the future plans of the Fed in stimulating the US economy once the QE2 will end in June (see here the recent announcement);
  6. Thursday 19th of May 13.30 – Department of Labor report – US unemployment claims: For the week ending on May 7th, initial claims decreased by 44,000, to 434,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.0% for the week ending on April 30th; and the number of insured unemployment was 3.756  million, a moderate increase of 5,000 compared to the previous week’s number (see here my recent review on the US Labor market );
  7. Thursday 19th 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 fourth straight week, last week by 4.0%; this was a 70 Bcf injection, as the total storage reached 1,827 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states; the natural gas storage was 2% below the 5-year average, and 12% below the storage level during the same week in 2010. (see here my recent natural gas storage review);
  8. Thursday 19th of May tentative – Bank of Japan – rate decision and monetary policy statement: This statement will show the decision of Bank of Japan vis-à-vis the rate decision and other monetary related decisions. In the last statement the bank decided to keep the interest rate at its low level of 0 to 0.1 percent. Japan is among the world leading countries in importing commodities including gold, crude oil and natural gas and the latter even more so ever since the tsunami attack back in March reduced the number of nuclear power plants;
  9. Friday 20th of May 13.00 – Canadian Core CPI: This report will pertain April 2011 and will show the main changes in the core consumer price index which excludes the most volatile components such as energy, fruit and vegetables. According to the recent Canadian statistics report for March 2011, the CPI rose by 3.3% in 12 month up to March compared to a 2.2% increase up to February 2011. The main reason for the rise is related to the energy prices that increased by 12.8% during the 12 months up to March 2011.


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