Economic week ahead: Earnings and outlooks

In a busy week for the global economy, the International Monetary Fund will release its latest world economic outlook, finance ministers from the world's seven largest economies – the G7 – will meet and earnings season kicks-off in the United States. Investors will be paying particular attention to fourth-quarter outlooks.

Meanwhile, key data releases in China and Japan, central bank meetings in South America and wildcat strikes in South Africa will give markets plenty to mull over. Here is your complete guide to the week ahead.

North America
In addition to this week's economic data, US markets will focus on a number of high profile corporate reports over the coming days as the earnings season gets under way.

On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)'s small business index is expected to rise to 93.5 in September from 92.9 in August. And on the corporate calendar, aluminium producer Alcoa and Yum Brands – owner of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut – will report quarterly results.

On Wednesday, wholesale inventories are forecast to rise 0.5% in August, down from a 0.7% rise in July, and the US federal government's monthly budget report is expected to show accounts in balance, an improvement on August's $190.5-billion deficit. Costco, Progressive and Ruby Tuesday will report quarterly earnings.

On Thursday, JB Hunt Transport, Safeway and Winnebago will report results and, on the economic calendar, markets will focus on weekly jobless claims, August trade deficit and September import price data.

Markets expect weekly jobless claims to fall slightly to 365 000 from 367 000 in the previous week. America's trade deficit is expected to have widened to $44.3-billion in August from $42-billion in July. Import prices probably rose 0.8% last month after rising 0.7% in August.

On Friday, last month's producer price index (PPI) is predicted to rise 0.8%, after a 1.7% jump in August, and this month's Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is forecast to rise to 78.5 from 78.3 in September. Banking giants JP Morgan and Wells Fargo will report results.

Global markets will keep a sceptical eye on Greece this week. Negotiations between the deeply-indebted country and its European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors on a €13.5-billion package of austerity measures for the next two years will continue this week. The parties must come to terms for Greece's next €31-billion bailout payment to be authorised. Talks have dragged on for weeks.

On the data calendar, Germany – Europe's largest economy and industrial powerhouse – will report industrial production figures on Monday. Markets expect output to have declined 0.5%, month on month, in August after rising unexpectedly by 1.3% in July.

Industrial production figures from Turkey, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will follow on Tuesday. Manufacturing production in the UK surged 3.2% from June to July, but is expected to show a 0.6% decline from July to August.

Romania, Sweden, Italy and France – the continent's second largest economy – will release industrial and manufacturing production figures on Wednesday. Analysts expect France's industrial production to have remained flat, but for manufacturing production to have fallen 0.7% in August. Italy's industrial output is expected to decline 0.8%.

On Thursday, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Ireland, Germany and France will report their consumer price index (CPI) readings for September. Germany's consumer inflation rate is expected to remain unchanged at 2.0%. France's CPI is forecast to rise from 2.1% to 2.3%, year on year.

On Friday, industrial production figures for the eurozone are expected to show a 0.5% monthly and 4.1% annual decline for August.

China and Japan – the region's two largest economies – will dominate Asia's economic calendar this week.

On Tuesday, Japan will release the country's current account balance for August. Analysts surveyed by Market News International (MNI) expect a surplus of ¥423.8-billion, down 3% year on year. The country's trade deficit is seen coming in at 632.5-billion yen.

On Thursday, Japan's Cabinet office will report August machinery orders and China will report money supply and lending data. Markets expect core machinery orders to decline 2.5%, month on month, the first fall in three months.

Markets expect China's M2 money supply – a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits – to have increased 13.6%, year on year, last month, up slightly from a 13.5% annual expansion in August. New local currency lending is seen falling to CNY660-billion from CNY703.1-billion in August.

On Friday, the Bank of Japan will release last month's corporate goods price index (CGPI). Analysts surveyed by MNI forecast a 1.4% year on year decline, the sixth straight drop.

On Saturday, China will report last month's trade figures. On an annual basis, exports are seen rising 5.1% and imports 2.5%. The country's trade surplus is expected to shrink from $26.66-billion in August to $20.67-billion in September.

Elsewhere in the region, the Bank of Korea is expected to cut its base rate from 3% to 2.75% on Wednesday as Indonesian officials leave rates on hold at 5.75% and, on Friday, India will release industrial production statistics for August.

Latin America
On Monday, Mexico's retail association – ANTAD – will release September's same store sales and the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) will release domestic vehicle sales, export and production figures.

Chile – the world's top copper producer – will also report vehicles sales on Monday, along with copper export, total export, import and trade balance figures. Markets expect the trade data to show that Chile's trade deficit narrowed to $200-million in September from $843-million in August.

On Tuesday, Mexico and Venezuela will report inflation gauges. Mexico's rate of consumer price inflation is seen rising for the fifth straight month in a row in September. Markets expect the country's consumer price index (CPI) to show a 0.48% rise. Venezuela's national CPI is expected to have risen 18.3% last month.

On Wednesday, central bankers in Brazil – the region's largest economy – will announce their latest monetary policy decision. Most analysts expect the Central Bank of Brazil's monetary policy committee to leave the bank's benchmark Selic rate on hold at 7.50%, but interest rate futures are pointing to a 25-basis point cut.

On Thursday, Peru's central bank is expected to leave the bank's 4.25% reference rate unchanged and Brazil will report retail sales for August. Markets expect to see a 0.2% monthly rise in sales, down from a 1.4% monthly increase in July.

On Friday, Mexico's industrial production is forecast to rise 3.8%, year on year, in July and Venezuela's CPI is expected to drop from 10% annual growth in August to 9.9% growth in September.

Investors will be keeping a nervous eye on developments in South Africa this week. The country has been racked by a wave of illegal strikes that have seen almost 50-people killed, 12 000 fired on Friday and the local currency fall to its lowest level against the dollar in over three years.

Ratings agency Moody's cut the country's credit rating in September and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that he will lower his 2.7% growth forecast when he delivers budget remarks later this month.

August's mining and manufacturing figures – both scheduled for release on Thursday – are the highlights of the country's data calendar this week. Manufacturing production is expected to have fallen 2.8%, year on year, following a 5.8% rise in July.

In West Africa, markets will be watching West African crude oil differentials – premiums paid above the Brent benchmark – over the coming days. Reuters reported on Friday that around 20-Nigerian cargoes scheduled for loading in November remained unsold last week as a result of weak demand from US and European refineries.

Elsewhere on the continent, Ghana will report last month's consumer price index (CPI) on Wednesday. A rates decision from the country's central bank could follow shortly thereafter. Most analysts expect officials to keep the bank's benchmark interest rate on hold at 15.0% when next they meet.

Neighbouring Nigeria will release second quarter foreign trade statistics this week. Uganda will release foreign reserves data, Namibia will report CPI and Egypt will release CPI and production index data.

Matt Quigley writes a weekly economic preview for the Mail & Guardian Online. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattquigley.


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