however Asian stocks failed to follow the lead of American stocks after China reported its slowest growth in a decade.

The Chinese economy grew by an annualized 6.1 percent in the first quarter down from 6.8 percent growth reported during the last three months of last year and slightly below median estimates of 6.3 percent.

The Chinese economy managed to survive due to rising domestic demand and rising investments, meanwhile rising industrial production further supported economic growth in the world’s third largest economy, as seemingly the $585 billion stimulus package is starting to show its effect on economic activity, however falling global demand continued to weigh down on Chinese exports and accordingly the economy failed to imitate the substantial growth levels acquired over the last few years.

Meanwhile today’s calendar is full of events, as Switzerland will release its producer & import prices for the month of March, the index is expected to drop by 0.2% following the prior reported decline of 0.6% back in February, while compared with a year earlier the index is expected to drop by 2.4% following the prior drop of 1.8%.

The euro zone will also release some data today, starting with the consumer price index for the month of March; CPI is expected to rise by 0.4% inline with the prior reported rise back in February, while compared with a year earlier CPI is expected to have risen by 0.6 percent also inline with the prior rise, however core annual CPI is expected to ease to 1.4 percent from the prior rise of 1.7 percent.

The European Central Bank is still insisting that the euro zone is currently undergoing a phase of disinflation rather than heading towards deflation, yet deflation risks remain a threat and the ECB has been very rigid in the way it has been dealing with the global financial crisis so far.

The ECB continued their rational monetary policy stance amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, as the ECB failed to follow the lead of other central banks around the world, which has been slashing their interest rates aggressively in addition to undertaking further unorthodox measures including quantitative easing.

The euro zone economy is still undergoing recession amid deteriorating economic activity in the area’s largest economies, where all sectors are being hit really hard by the ongoing recession, as slowing domestic and global demand has been weighing down on economic activity deeply.

The euro zone will release its industrial production index for the month of February, the index is expected to drop by 2.5% following the prior drop of 3.5 percent reported back in January, while compared with a year earlier industrial production is expected to have dropped by 18.0 percent down from 17.3% reported previously.

The Euro extended its drop against the U.S. dollar this morning, as the pair fell to the $1.31 levels and seems to be on course to drop further towards the $1.30 levels, the Euro also dropped against the Japanese Yen towards the 130 levels and the pair seems to be on its way to break this level to the downside.

Moving on to the United States, as some housing data will be released today for the month of March, nearly all the indicators for the housing market rebounded in February, as falling home values lured buyers seeking bargains into buying homes, which ignited hopes that the housing sector might have found its long waited bottom, yet expectations are still weak for March.

Housing starts are expected to have dropped to 540,000 from the prior estimate of 583,000, while building permits are expected to have dropped to 549,000 from the prior revised estimate of 564,000.

The housing sector continues to undergo its worst slump since the Great Depression, and accordingly it continues to weigh down on economic growth inline with other sectors including the labor market and consumer spending, as further tightening in credit conditions, rising unemployment continue to weigh down on consumers spending and accordingly economic growth.

Initial jobless claims are expected to have risen by 6,000 last week to 660,000 as the labor market continues to weaken severely, as employers continue to shed more workers, meanwhile continuing claims are expected to rise further to 5.893 million from the prior estimate of 5.840 million.

The unemployment rate surged in March to the highest since 1983 as companies shed 663,000 workers, while the total job loss tally rose well above 5 million ever since the start of the credit crisis back in 2007.

The Philadelphia Fed index will be released today as well for the month of March, the index is expected to rise to -32.0 from the prior estimate of -35.0, as the slowdown in economic activity seems to be easing inline with the Fed’s estimates, also inline with yesterday’s NY empire state index which rose beyond median estimates.