There’s a lot going on this week.
U.S. President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will cover both domestic and foreign policies Tuesday during the second U.S. presidential debate, which will feature a town-meeting format.
Looking at macroeconomic data, housing should be pretty solid, aside from an anticipated modest decline in existing-home sales. Inflation and manufacturing data should come in soft, while retail sales will be boosted by vehicle sales.
The European Union’s leaders, basking in the glow of a Nobel Peace Prize, will meet at an Oct. 18-19 summit in Brussels. At the summit, EU leaders will discuss the progress of existing steps toward banking and fiscal union, among other things.
Meanwhile, August’s euro-zone trade data may strike a more upbeat tone than recent survey figures. And the German ZEW indicator of economic sentiment will probably confirm that investors remain pessimistic about the country's economic outlook.
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Eyes will also be focused on China’s third-quarter gross domestic product numbers. Economists expect to see growth slowed for a seventh straight quarter in the July-September period to the weakest level since the depths of the global financial crisis, a Reuters poll showed.
Below are entries on the economic calendar Oct. 15-19. All listed times are EDT.
8 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley (a voter on the Federal Open Market Committee) speaks before the National Association for Business Economics, or NABE, in New York.
8:30 a.m. -- Economists expect retail sales to rise 0.7 percent in September, boosted by gains in auto and gasoline sales, complemented by a rebound in core retail sales of 0.3 percent, following a 0.1 percent decline in August.
8:30 a.m. -- Economists look for the Empire State Manufacturing Index to rise to -5.0 in October from -10.4 in September. Several offsetting factors are at work. Last month’s forward-looking components suggest the recent weakness in the index will continue. However, the rise in equity prices during the month should help boost sentiment. In addition, the Fed’s commitment to keep policy accommodative until it sees a “sustained improvement” in the labor market should also help boost sentiment.
10 a.m. -- Business inventories likely rose 0.5 percent in August, after rising 0.8 percent in July.
12:45 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey M, Lacker (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the U.S. economy in Virginia.
1:10 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the U.S. economy in Missouri.
8:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John C. Williams (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the economy in California.
Portugal -- Government presents the budget for 2013.
Slovakia -- Government presents the budget for 2013.
China -- September consumer price index, producer price index.
Poland -- September CPI.
Israel -- September CPI.
New Zealand -- September CPI.
Finland -- September harmonized index of consumer prices.
Italy -- August general government debt.
8:30 a.m. -- The recent surge in gasoline prices continued in September, pointing to another big gain in overall consumer prices. As the recent drought-related surge in agriculture commodity prices begins to feed through grocery-store prices, the food component should also see a slight increase. Economists expect a 0.4 percent month-on-month increase in the CPI last month. Stripping out food and energy, core consumer prices likely rose a soft 0.2 percent in September.
9:15 a.m. -- Industrial production likely increased by 0.2 percent in September. That would follow last month’s 1.2 percent decline in output. The capacity-utilization rate is expected to come in at 78.3 percent.
10 a.m. -- Builder optimism continues to rise. Economists expect the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index to improve for the sixth consecutive month to 41 from 40.
10:45 a.m. -- National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling speaks to economists in New York.
12 noon -- Federal Reserve Board Member Sarah Bloom Raskin (a voter on the FOMC) speaks on financial regulation in Boston.
9 p.m. -- At the second U.S. presidential debate, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will discuss domestic and foreign policies in a town-meeting format.
Australia -- October Reserve Bank of Australia board minutes.
Sweden -- Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Austria -- September HICP.
U.K. -- September CPI.
U.K. -- September input prices/output prices.
Euro zone -- September HICP, final reading.
Germany -- ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for October.
Euro zone -- ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for October.
Euro zone -- August trade balance.
7 a.m. -- Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Applications Survey results for the week ending Oct. 13.
8:30 a.m. -- Housing starts should have increased to an annualized pace of 768,000 in September. That’s up from the comparable rate of 750,000 in August. Building permits likely rose to 810,000 from 801,000.
Thailand -- October benchmark interest rate.
U.K. -- October Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee minutes, bank-rate vote.
U.K. -- August International Labour Organization unemployment rate.
Euro zone -- August construction output.
Malaysia -- September CPI.
Singapore -- September nonoil domestic exports.
8:30 a.m. -- Last week, initial jobless claims fell to 339,000, the lowest level since February 2008. The U.S. Labor Department reported that jobless claims normally jump in the first month of a new quarter because recipients must reapply to recertify their applications. The increase this year was smaller than the increases of the past several years because one large state, unidentified at this time, showed a decrease rather than an increase. The bottom line is that last week’s drop in claims was due not to economic reasons but to administrative reasons. As a result, economists look for initial jobless claims to bounce back this week to 365,000.
10 a.m. -- Economists look for a 0.1 percent increase in the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators in September. Interest-rate spreads, equity-market gains, and improved construction activity should provide a boost to the index.
10 a.m. -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, or Philly Fed, manufacturing index has been improving steadily since June, when it printed -16.6. Economists look for this trend to continue and for the index to rise to 1.0 in October from -1.9 in September.
EU -- EU Summit (to Oct. 19).
Euro zone -- European Central Bank nonpolicy meeting.
Germany -- Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs Bundestag on EU summit.
Greece -- Public- and private-sector labor union strike.
Egypt -- October deposit rate.
Turkey -- October benchmark repo rate.
Chile -- October overnight rate target.
Australia -- 3Q business confidence index.
China -- 3Q GDP.
China -- September industrial production.
China -- September fixed-asset investments.
China -- September retail sales.
Switzerland -- September trade balance.
Netherlands -- October consumer confidence index.
Sweden -- September unemployment rate.
U.K. -- September retail sales.
Belgium – October consumer confidence.
10 a.m. -- Economists expect existing home sales to fall 2.5 percent to 4.75 million units in September, retracing some of the unexpected rise in August and returning the pace of sales in line with recent trends.
Thailand -- September consumer exports.
Japan -- Index of all-industry activity for August.
Germany -- September PPI.
Euro zone -- August ECB current account.
Italy -- August industrial orders.
Taiwan -- September export orders.
Argentina -- August economic activity index.
Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Capital Economics, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.