As South Africans get ready to vote this week, the European Central Bank and Bank of England will announce their latest policy decisions.
If stimulus measures move over to the eurozone, it could spell a slight respite for South Africa's beleaguered currency.
This week, SA's finance minister will give his budget address while the US Federal Reserve chief is set to resume her testimony on monetary policy.
Resentment is growing over German chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership and fiscal austerity measures.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget statement, in which growth and fiscal projections will be updated, is the big item on the economic calendar.
Unions in Greece have gone on a strike in protest over the government's decision to shut down its public broadcaster as part of cost-cutting measures.
Eurozone and EU finance ministers will meet in Dublin to conclude a Cyprus bailout and consider extending debt repayments for Portugal and Ireland.
The SA Reserve Bank has done well to balance economic growth and job creation while pursuing its mandate to monitor inflation, says Pravin Gordhan.
As Europe stumbles from crisis to crisis, it might be a good time for Cyprus to ditch the currency.
A eurozone bailout seems unlikely, and plans to keep Cypriots banks afloat are getting desperate.
Cyprus has been fine-tuning a Plan B to secure a bailout that the European Central Bank has warned should be adopted to avoid a banking meltdown.
Cyprus' ministers have met to rework a plan to seize money from bank deposits before a parliamentary vote that might threaten the island's finances.
Cypriots have gone to the polls to elect a president who must negotiate a financial rescue to save the island country from its economic crisis.
A data deluge in the US, growth figures for China and Germany, and inflation data from the eurozone are the highlights on the economic data calendar.
The United States Federal Reserve's final policy meeting of the year and a European Union summit will dominate the economic week ahead.
Inflation data and a rates decision in SA, the US's looming fiscal cliff and ongoing trouble in the Middle East will make for a hectic week ahead.
Over the coming days, US President Barack Obama will begin talks on the country's fiscal cliff, while China will wrap up its leadership transition.
Matt Quigley's guide to the data releases, meetings and other economic events likely to generate headlines and move markets in the week ahead.
Yet another make-or-break European summit will dominate this week's economic calendar, while at home all eyes will be on the ANC's policy conference.
South Africa needs to be alert to the implosion in Europe and to opportunities in the rest of Africa, writes Richard Calland.