Finance ministers and central bankers will travel to Moscow this week for regular G20 discussions of the global economy, with the key meetings taking place Friday and Saturday.
As usual, the agenda will cover a broad range of issues, including International Monetary Fund reforms, financial sector regulation, trade policy and global imbalances. But talk about “currency wars” is likely to attract the headlines, according to Andrew Kenningham, senior global economist at Capital Economics. But Kenningham believes this G20 meeting “is likely to pass without any concrete action.”
In Japan, the focus this week will be the release of the first official estimate of gross domestic product for the fourth quarter of 2012 and the outcome of the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board meeting. The consensus is that Japan avoided two successive quarters of contracting GDP at the end of 2012.
It is now likely that the BoJ's policy board will vote to leave conditions unchanged at its monetary policy meeting Wednesday and Thursday. But it could talk about making adjustments to the composition of its assets purchase program, Masayuki Kichikawa, an economist with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in Tokyo, wrote in a note to clients.
In the U.S., the release of January’s retail sales figures on Wednesday will provide investors with the first real insight into how badly consumption was hit by the expiry of the payroll tax cut.
Turning to Europe, monthly data suggest that economic activity at the end of 2012 was weaker than expected in many euro area countries. Gross domestic product in the single currency bloc is expected to have contracted by 0.4 percent, according to Societe Generale analyst Anatoli Annenkov, marking it the largest decline in four years.
Financial markets will be partially closed in much of North East Asia this week due to the Lunar New Year Holiday.
Meanwhile, there are scheduled policy rate meetings in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, as well in Korea.
Below are entries on the economic calendar Feb. 12-15. All listed times are EST.
11:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George (FOMC voter) speaks on the U.S. economy before an event hosted by the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
1:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart (FOMC non-voter) speaks on "The Challenges of Growth - and Employment" before the Instituto de Empresas and the Ramon Areces Foundation in Spain.
2 p.m. – Economists look for a federal budget deficit of $2 billion in January, which would be an improvement of about $25 billion to last year and would put the deficit at $294 billion for the first four months of fiscal year 2013.
7:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker (FOMC non-voter) speaks on "Economics and the Federal Reserve After the Financial Crisis" at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
8 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser (FOMC non-voter) speaks on the economic outlook and monetary policy before the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Associates Meeting in California.
Spain -- Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks on "Beyond Austerity: Getting Back to Growth" in Madrid.
Indonesia -- Bank Indonesia Reference rate.
Russia -- Overnight deposit rate and overnight repo rate.
E17 -- ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio speaks on "Towards the Banking Union" in Finland.
E17 -- The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting in Brussels.
E17 -- ECB President Mario Draghi speaks in the Spanish Parliament.
U.K. – January CPI.
U.K. – January input prices and output prices.
Japan – January corporate goods price index.
Japan – Index of tertiary industry activity for December.
7 a.m. -- The Mortgage Bankers Association's, or MBA's, mortgage-applications indexes for the week ended Feb. 8.
8:30 a.m. – Prices of imported goods are expected to rise for the first time in three months, up 0.7 percent after a decline of 0.1 percent in December. Much of the increase should be due to the rebound in imported petroleum prices, also likely higher after declining the prior two months. Export prices likely rose 0.3 percent after declining 0.1 percent in December.
8:30 a.m. – Retail sales in January are likely to be soft. Economists look for headline retail sales to rise only 0.1 percent, weighed down by a hike in payroll taxes.
10 a.m. – Business inventories likely rose 0.3 percent in December, after advancing at the same pace in the prior month.
11:10 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard (FOMC voter) speaks on the U.S. economy and monetary policy before the 2013 Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference in Arkansas.
Sweden – Interest rates announcement.
U.K. – Bank of England inflation report.
E17 -- ECB Executive Board Member Peter Praet speaks at the Association for Financial Markets in Europe conference in London.
Norway – Q4 GDP.
E17 – December industrial production.
Japan – Preliminary Q4 GDP.
8:30 a.m. -- Initial jobless claims likely slipped by 6,000 to 360,000 during the period ended Feb. 9.
9:50 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto (FOMC non-voter) speaks on the economy and monetary policy before the Bonita Estero Market Pulse event in Florida.
10:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo (FOMC voter) testifies before the Senate Banking Committee hearing, "Wall Street Reform: Oversight of Financial Stability and Consumer and Investor Protections."
12:50 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard (FOMC voter) speaks on the U.S. economy and monetary policy before the Mississippi State University Department of Finance and Economics Special Banking Forum.
Japan – Bank of Japan target rate.
Korea – South Korea 7-day repo rate.
E17 – ECB publishes monthly bulletin.
E17 – EC proposes Financial Transaction Tax for 11 countries.
Chile – Overnight rate target.
Singapore – Q4 GDP, final reading.
E17 -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
France –Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Germany -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Austria -- Q4 GDP.
Hungary -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Czech -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Romania -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Netherlands -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Italy -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Portugal -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Cyprus -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Greece -- Preliminary Q4 GDP.
Greece – November unemployment rate.
8:30 a.m. – The Empire State manufacturing index declined to -7.8 last month despite solid January prints in broader indicators of activity such as the Markit PMI and both the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing ISM. Given that the index has now printed below zero for five consecutive months, it appears to be indicating regional, rather than national, weakness in activity. Economists look for a small rise to -2.0 in February.
9:15 a.m. – Industrial production likely grew 0.2 percent month-over-month in January, slower than the 0.3 percent month-over-month increase in December. The capacity utilization rate likely rose to 78.9 percent. Meanwhile, manufacturing production, the biggest component of industrial production, probably rose 0.2 percent in January.
9:55 a.m. – Economists see consumer confidence picking up in the preliminary February release to 74.8, from 73.8 in January.
G20 – G20 meeting in Moscow (to Feb. 16)
E17 -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks at the Bank of Russia Seminar in Russia.
E17 -- ECB Vice President Constâncio speaks at an International Accounting Conference in Frankfurt.
U.K. – January retail sales.
E17 – December trade balance.
Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Capital Economics, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nomura, Societe Generale.
Moran Zhang is a finance and economics reporter at The International Business Times. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal Digital Network’s MarketWatch, United...