Trade Balance, PPI, Consumer Sentiment On Tap: This Week?s Economic Events

  @moranzhang on May 06 2012 9:52 PM
US Trade Deficit
Containers being unloaded at a dock. REUTERS

Highlighting the economic data this week -- May 7-11 -- are the March trade-balance figures to be released Thursday. Economists expect the U.S. trade deficit to widen after its sharp narrowing in February.

The markets will also be watching for the producer price index and University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index Friday.

Below are entries on the economic calendar, where all listed times are Eastern Daylight Time:

Monday

10 a.m. -- The Conference Board's April employment trends index.

3 p.m. -- Consumer credit should have expanded by $8.5 billion in March, after growing by $8.73 billion in the prior month. Lately, growth in consumer credit has been driven by rapid growth in student and auto loans, which are categorized as nonrevolving loans. Economists expect the revolving-credit component to continue to have a smaller effect on total credit growth.

7:15 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker (a voter on the Federal Open Market Committee this year) speaks on Technology, Unemployment, and Workforce Development before business, community, and government leaders in Greensboro, N.C.

Non-U.S.:

Euro zone -- Eurogroup to decide on the replacement of European Central Bank executive board member Jose Manual Gonzalez-Paramo.

Germany -- March Factory orders.

Tuesday

7:30 a.m. -- National Federation of Independent Business small-business optimism index for April.

9:45 a.m. -- Richmond Fed President Lacker and Chief Operating Officer Sally Green will hold a roundtable discussion with Guilford Technical Community College students centered on their educational experiences.

10 a.m. -- IBD/TIPP economic optimism index for May.

12:45 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) will speak at a Growth DFW event sponsored by the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dallas Regional Chamber, and Dallas Business Journal.

Non-U.S.:

Finland -- First-quarter gross domestic product.

Germany -- March industrial production.

Wednesday

7 a.m. -- Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications survey for the week ending May 4.

10 a.m. -- Wholesale inventories likely rose 0.6 percent in March, following a 0.9 percent gain in February.

10 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) delivers a speech titled Toward a More Transparent Monetary Policy to the Economic Club of Minnesota.

10:30 a.m. -- Crude inventories for the week ending May 5.

10:45 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto (a voter on the FOMC this year) speaks on leadership at the Women Leading Kentucky's Women's Business & Leadership Conference in Lexington. She will not be discussing the economy or monetary policy in her remarks.

12 p.m. -- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser (a nonvoter on the FOMC this year) will speak at his bank's conference on reinventing older communities.

Non-U.S.:

Germany -- March trade balance.

France -- March trade balance.

Greece -- April harmonized index of consumer prices.

Mexico -- April consumer price index.

Japan -- April current account.

Thursday

8:30 a.m. -- Initial jobless claims are expected to rise to 370,000 for the week ending May 5 from 365,000 the week prior. Under this forecast, the four-week moving average would fall to 379,000 from 383,500.

8:30 a.m. -- The trade deficit is likely to widen to $50 billion in March after its sharp narrowing in February, as exports outpaced imports. Imports plunged by the most in three years in February because of a drop in crude-oil imports and demand for Chinese goods. Export growth should continue to be held back by the euro-zone recession.

8:30 a.m. -- Import prices are likely to decline 0.1 percent month-on-month in April, a significant pullback from their petroleum-led 1.3 percent spike in March. Global oil prices fell more than 4 percent in April, which should pull down the industrial supplies and materials category. Export prices should increase a modest 0.2 percent after growing 0.8 percent in March.

9:30 a.m. -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will deliver the keynote address at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's annual conference on bank structure and competition, titled Bank Capital: How Much is Enough?

1:20 p.m. -- Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota delivers a speech titled Monetary Policy Transparency: Changes and Challenges to the Economic Club of Minnesota.

2 p.m. - Federal budget for April. According to the Internal Revenue Service, income-tax collections were higher this year compared with last year. Therefore, economists are looking for a narrowing in the budget deficit to $18.0 billion in April, compared with $40.4 billion in the same month last year. This would bring the deficit for the first seven months of the fiscal year to $797 billion.

Non-U.S.:

Global -- Group of 20 summit.

China -- April exports and imports.

Euro zone -- ECB publishes monthly bulletin for May.

U.K. -- Bank of England bank-rate decision for May.

U.K. -- BoE asset-purchase decision for May.

U.K. -- March manufacturing output.

U.K. -- March industrial output.

France -- March industrial production.

Italy -- March Industrial production.

Friday

8:30 a.m. -- The producer price index for April is expected to once again be flat, matching March's performance. Energy prices are likely to decline, while food prices are expected to eke out a very modest increase. Core PPI should rise 0.2 percent in April after rising 0.3 percent in March. Annual core PPI should decelerate slightly to 2.8 percent, after peaking at 3.0 percent between November and January.

9:55 a.m. -- The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is expected to hold at 76.4 in May. The current-conditions component likely edged up to 83.0, from 82.9 in April. The expectations component will likely come in at 72.5 in May, after an April print of 72.3.

Non-U.S.:

Euro zone -- Spring economic forecasts published.

China -- April CPI, PPI.

China -- April industrial production.

China -- April fixed-asset investments.

Germany -- Final reading on April HICP and CPI.

Spain -- Final reading on April HICP.

U.K. -- April PPI.

Dates and times are subject to change.

Sources: Central banks, European Commission, Reuters, Market News, Barclays Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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