Economic Diary

IT IS a busy week ahead on the economics front once again. While last week was dominated by central bank decisions from across the world and independent surveys, this week we will see a slew of statistics that may or may not confirm rebounding consumer confidence and output.

UK February Sales figures due
In the UK, the week kicks off in the early hours of tomorrow morning. At midnight, we will see the February retail sales monitor from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Last month’s survey was particularly disappointing but other figures for the sector have been more promising. And after both Nationwide and Halifax reported falling house prices last month, will the February house price balance from the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors be equally pessimistic? Tuesday will also reveal the net trade data for the UK – so far there has seemingly been little impact of a weaker sterling on exports.

Wednesday is looking to be the busiest day. We’ll get official data at 7am for exports and imports in Germany, Europe’s largest exporter. In the UK, we will find out industrial and manufacturing production data for January at 9.30am as well as the GDP forecast from respected think tank the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (Niesr). Japan will be reporting fourth quarter GDP at 11.50pm and the consensus is for 1 per cent quarterly growth.

Friday is the big day for the United States when February retail sales at 1.30pm and March’s University of Michigan confidence survey is published at 2.55pm. Earlier that day at 11am we will also get Eurozone industrial production, which will be keenly watched for any restart of the single currency economy.