Market participants face a very hectic economic-release calendar this week.
In the U.S., the December retail-sales report should show softness in front of the fiscal cliff. Economists anticipate a rise in the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment in January. The permanent extension of tax breaks for those in the low- and middle-income brackets should boost sentiment, although the expiration of the payroll-tax cut should offset some of this impact.
District Federal Reserve Bank manufacturing surveys likely will point to a beginning-of-the-year increase in activity. New residential building activity probably ended on a high note last year, while a weather-related drop in utilities' power generation likely capped industrial output in December, noted Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York.
Market participants will also hear speeches by several Federal Reserve officials as we approach the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, meeting Jan. 29-30. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, scheduled to speak Monday, will probably reiterate the need for additional easing.
In Europe -- besides the euro-zone industrial production and trade figures -- Germany will release its gross domestic product figures for 2012 as a whole. Economists polled by Reuters and the country's economy ministry have forecast GDP rose by 0.8 percent for the year, which indicates it may have fell by as much as 1 percent in the final three months of last year.
Another major market event of the week is the big Chinese macroeconomic-data dump on Friday. After slowing for seven straight quarters, China's GDP growth is expected to rebound to 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter.
Other December activity data coming out of China include numbers on fixed-asset investment, industrial production, and retail sales.
Elsewhere, central banks will meet in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Russia.
Below are entries on the economic calendar Jan. 14-18. All listed times are EST.
11:55 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the economic outlook before the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium 2013 in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
12:40 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the economic outlook before the Rotary Club of Atlanta in Georgia.
4 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke (a voter on the FOMC) speaks on monetary policy, recovery from the global financial crisis, and long-term challenges facing the American economy at an event sponsored by the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Japan -- Markets closed in observance of Coming-of-Age Day holiday.
Euro zone -- European Central Bank Executive Board Member Peter Praet speaks on possible outcomes for the crisis in the euro area in Brussels.
Euro zone -- November industrial production.
Italy -- November industrial production.
8 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the economic outlook before a breakfast meeting of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce in Rhode Island.
8:30 a.m. -- Retail sales appear to have ended the year on a weak footing. Economists forecast a gain of 0.2 percent for total retail sales in December and 0.3 percent for core sales -- excluding automobiles, gasoline, and building materials. Auto sales should have been little changed, while gasoline sales should have edged lower, reflecting the drop in gas prices. Building-material sales should have continued to climb as Superstorm Sandy rebuilding got under way on the U.S. East Coast.
8:30 a.m. -- The producer price index for finished goods is likely to have fallen 0.1 percent in December, following a larger-than-expected 0.8 percent decline in November. This would be the third straight monthly decline, mostly driven by cheaper energy prices, and would reduce the annual PPI inflation rate to 1.4 percent. Excluding food and energy, core PPI inflation is likely to have risen 0.2 percent in December, which would take the annual core PPI inflation rate down slightly to 2.1 percent.
8:30 a.m. -- Economists look for a print of zero in the January Empire State manufacturing index, which would break a five-month streak of subzero readings. The index came in at -8.1 in December.
8:50 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on "Past, Present and Future: The Macroeconomy and Federal Reserve Actions” before the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota.
10 a.m. -- The November business inventory report is expected to show a 0.3 percent increase, following a 0.4 percent rise in the prior month.
12:30 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on the economic outlook before the 34th annual Economic Seminar sponsored by the Simon School of Business with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Rochester Business Alliance in New York.
Russia -- Overnight deposit rate and overnight repo rate.
Germany -- Final consumer price index, or CPI, and harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, for December.
Germany -- 2012 annual GDP.
Italy -- Final CPI and HICP for December.
U.K. -- December CPI.
U.K. -- December input prices and output prices.
Japan -- December corporate-goods price index.
Japan -- November core machinery orders.
7 a.m. -- The Mortgage Bankers Association's, or MBA's, mortgage-application indexes for the week ending Jan. 12.
8:30 a.m. -- December’s consumer price index likely remained flat month-on-month, after declining 0.3 percent in November. Core CPI should have risen 0.2 percent in December, following a smaller 0.1 percent increase in the prior month. CPI inflation remains modest in the face of mediocre growth, with headline CPI inflation expected to run 1.8 percent year-on-year for December, while core CPI inflation should come in at 1.9 percent. These below-target inflation rates support the Federal Reserve's plans to keep monetary policy accommodative for some time.
8:30 a.m. -- Real earnings probably rose 0.3 percent in December, after rising 0.5 percent in November.
9:15 a.m. -- The effects of Superstorm Sandy distorted industrial production in recent months, with a sharp decline of 0.7 percent in October and a rebound of 1.1 percent in November. In December, economists are looking for a 0.3 percent gain. This would result in a modest decline in the fourth quarter as a whole, on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Manufacturing output has followed a similar pattern, with a 1 percent decrease in October and a 1.1 percent increase in November. It is expected to record a 0.5 percent rise in December. Meanwhile, the capacity utilization rate should come in at 78.5 percent.
10 a.m. -- Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on "Past, Present and Future: The Macroeconomy and Federal Reserve Actions” before an event hosted by SCORE in Minnesota. Note: The will be a repeat of his Jan. 15 speech.
10 a.m. -- Economists look for a rise to 48 in the National Association of Home Builders', or NAHB's, index of home-builder sentiment in January after a reading of 47 in December. This would put the index 24 points higher than its January 2012 level and would be in line with strength seen across housing-market indicators in the past year, such as starts, sales, and prices.
2 p.m. -- The Fed's Beige Book report will be released.
7 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on "Why It's Important to Downsize Institutions That Are Too Big to Fail" before the Committee for the Republic Salon in Washington.
8 p.m. -- Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) speaks on "Past, Present and Future: The Macroeconomy and Federal Reserve Actions” before the National Association of Corporate Directors/Minnesota Regional Chapter. Note: This is a repeat of his morning speech.
Greece -- International Monetary Fund first and second program review.
Portugal -- IMF Article IV consultation and sixth program review.
Brazil -- Sistema Especial de Liquidacao e Custodia, or Selic, overnight rate.
Austria -- National Bank of Austria Gov. Ewald Nowotny speaks on "Monetary Policy, Fiscal Stability -- an Austrian Perspective" in Vienna.
Euro zone -- ECB Executive Board Member Joerg Asmussen speaks on "Primacy of Politics and Market -- We Are Witnessing a Paradigm Shift" in Germany.
Euro zone -- Final HICP for December.
Brazil -- November economic activity index.
Japan -- November index of tertiary industry activity.
8:30 a.m. -- Housing starts likely rose 3.4 percent to 890,000 units in December, reversing the decline in November. Building permits probably rose to 903,000 in December, from 900,000 in November. Economists continue to expect residential construction to add to GDP growth in coming quarters.
8:30 a.m. -- Economists predict initial jobless claims fell to 365,000 during the week of Jan. 12, compared with a reading of 371,000 the week before.
10 a.m. -- After returning briefly to negative territory due largely to Superstorm Sandy's effects in November, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's, or Philly Fed's, manufacturing index rebounded to 4.6 in December. Economists expect the index to hold this gain in January and rise to 6.
12:05 p.m. -- Atlanta Fed President Lockhart (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) participates in a dialogue on the economic outlook at the Bloomberg Global Markets Summit in New York.
Serbia -- Repo rate.
Euro zone -- The ECB publishes monthly bulletin.
Chile -- Overnight rate target.
9:55 a.m. -- It is possible that the last-minute fiscal-cliff deal will boost confidence in January. Economists have penciled in a rise in the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence to 75 in January, from 72.9 in December.
Colombia -- Overnight lending rate.
Mexico -- Overnight rate.
China -- 4Q GDP
China -- December industrial production.
China -- December fixed-asset investment.
China -- December retail sales.
U.K. -- December retail sales.
Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Capital Economics, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Societe Generale.