Global equity markets continued to fall yesterday as pessimism remains the dominant theme among investors, as global economies seem to be falling deeper in recession amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The euro zone economy continues to experience huge pressures from the ongoing financial crisis, as growth in its biggest economy Germany continues to contract, while other economies in the area including France, Italy, and Spain are also under stress from the financial crisis, as their economies continue to contract as well.
Germany released this morning their ILO unemployment for the month of January increased to 7.3 percent inline with median estimates and up from the prior rise of 7.2 percent. While the GFK consumer confidence index for the month of March rose unexpectedly to 2.6 from the prior revised estimate of 2.3 and well above median estimates of 2.0.
Germany is due to release their unemployment rate for the month of February, which is expected to rise to 7.9 percent from the prior rise of 7.8 percent, where the unemployment change is expected to rise to 60 thousand from the prior estimate of 56,000 reported back in January.
The euro zone confidence index for the month of February will be also released today, as the business climate indicator is expected to fall to -3.20 from -3.16, while consumer confidence is expected to remain steady at -31, while the economic confidence index is expected to rise to 68.5 from a revised estimate of 67.1, while the industrial confidence index is expected to remain steady at -34, and the services confidence is expected to remain steady as well at -22.
Germany will be also releasing their consumer price index preliminary estimate for the month of February, where CPI is expected to rise 0.3% after falling 0.5% the prior month, while CPI is expected to rise an annualized 0.8% after rising 0.9% previously, while the EU harmonized CPI is expected to rise 0.3% after falling 0.6% in the prior estimate, while harmonized CPI is expected to rise over an annualized rate of 0.7% down from 0.9% reported in the previous estimate.
Germany and other major economic forces in the euro zone continue to fall deeper in recession as the global financial crisis has been taking its toll on European economies and accordingly the area's growth continues to contract and will force the European Central Bank to cut interest rates further over the upcoming months.
The U.K. released earlier this morning their Nationwide house prices for the month of February, as prices fell 1.8% over the month after falling by 1.3% the prior estimate, while house prices dropped 17.6% compared with a year earlier and following the prior fall of 16.6%.
The U.K. will also release their GFK consumer confidence index for the month of February, which is expected to fall further to -39 from the prior estimate reported back in January of -37, as economic conditions worsened further and as the economy fell deeper in recession.
The Bank of England Governor King will testify before the House of Commons Treasury select committee and will be talking about the global financial crisis, the BoE is still expected to cut interest rates over the upcoming period down to near zero, as the financial crisis continues to suppress economic growth and threatens with deflation risks.
The U.S. will be also releasing a set of data today, as the durable goods orders are expected to have dropped 2.5% in January after dropping 3.0% according to December's revised estimate, while durables that exclude transportation are expected to fall 2.2% after falling a revised 3.9% back in December.
The U.S. will also release their weekly jobless claims, which are expected to remain elevated as rising unemployment continues to pressure the index to the upside, where analysts predict that initial jobless claims to have dropped last week by 2,000 to 625,000, while continuing claims are expected to rise to 5.025 million from the prior 4.987 million.
More data from the housing marker will be provided as the new home sale are expected to have dropped by 2.1 percent in January to 324,000 units from the prior estimate of 331,000.
Yesterday's existing home sales dropped beyond analysts estimates to signal that the housing market continues to undergo the worst slump since the Great Depression, and that the housing slump will continue to undermine economic growth in the world's largest economy.
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